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April 01, 2012

Word of the Day

  • devious
  • audio pronunciation
  • \DEE-ve-us\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

1
: deviating from a straight line : roundabout
2
: behaving wrongly : errant
3
: tricky, cunning; also : deceptive
  • EXAMPLES

Our guide took us by a devious route to the center of the city.

"Former Congresswoman Jane Harman's resignation shortly after winning reelection in November 2010 struck many as a typically devious move on her part." — From an article by Paul Rosenberg in Random Lengths, January 12, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

If you think someone devious has lost their way, you're right, etymologically speaking — the word derives from the Latin adjective "devius," itself formed from the prefix "de-" ("from" or "away") and the noun "via" ("way"). When "devious" was first used in the late 16th century, it implied a literal wandering off the "way," suggesting something that meandered or had no fixed course (as in "a devious route" or "devious breezes"). Relatively quickly, however, the word came to suggest someone or something that had metaphorically rather than literally left the "right path" or to deceitful (rather than "straight"-forward) behavior.

Name That Synonym: What synonym of "devious" rhymes with "dreaming"? The answer is ...

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