bedevil

verb

be·​dev·​il bi-ˈde-vəl How to pronounce bedevil (audio)
bē-
bedeviled; bedeviling; bedevils

transitive verb

1
: to possess with or as if with a devil
2
: to cause distress : trouble
3
: to change for the worse : spoil
4
: to confuse utterly
bedevilment noun

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Example Sentences

The theory bedevils scientists, none of whom have been able to prove it true or false. The project has been bedeviled by problems since its inception.
Recent Examples on the Web Those fears may also bedevil a Didi attempt to list in Hong Kong. Clay Chandler, Fortune, 4 Aug. 2022 An online drop would expose Swatch to the bots and scalpers that bedevil everything from sneaker launches to the PlayStation 5. Tim Barber, Wired, 18 July 2022 Not coincidentally, such a framework would begin to help save us from the existing problems of surveillance capitalism that already bedevil us. Wired, 8 July 2022 Northern Ireland is a permanent problem, one involving endless fixes, fudges, bargains, and compromises that will bedevil the relationship between London and Brussels from here on in. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 18 May 2022 This is a way of distracting the population from the problems that bedevil it. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 4 Apr. 2022 This is a way of distracting the population from the problems that bedevil it. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 4 Apr. 2022 This is a way of distracting the population from the problems that bedevil it. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 4 Apr. 2022 The documents nonetheless expose loopholes and failings that investigators say bedevil the wider industry. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bedevil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bedevil was in 1574

Dictionary Entries Near bedevil

Cite this Entry

“Bedevil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bedevil. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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Kids Definition

bedevil

verb

be·​dev·​il bi-ˈde-vəl How to pronounce bedevil (audio)
bedeviled; bedeviling
: to trouble or annoy again and again
bedeviled by problems

More from Merriam-Webster on bedevil

Last Updated: 28 Aug 2022

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