be·​dev·​il·​ing bi-ˈde-və-liŋ How to pronounce bedeviling (audio)
: causing trouble, distress, or confusion : vexing
a bedeviling variety of options
… space can be as bedeviling as time. Thomas Mallon
… the bedeviling phenomenon known as lower back pain. Alfred Meyer
bedevilingly adverb
… had developed a keen sense of how bedevilingly hard it was to control the boisterous energies released by the American Revolution. Joseph J. Ellis

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Now those problems are increasingly bedeviling once-affordable towns and cities across the U.S., a new study finds. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 22 July 2022 One of the bedeviling aspects of the drought is how having access to water doesn’t necessarily mean it can be used. Chloe Sorvino, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 In later years, Brett Hull succeeded with a similarly bedeviling release. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 16 Apr. 2022 Our last sight of Gordon is full-on pitiful, just a funny old man begging for one more second with a bedeviling young woman. Darren Franich,, 3 Feb. 2022 There are several ways English spelling has peeled apart from pronunciation, and each of them has produced words that, like misled, are often among book words' bedeviling number. James Harbeck, The Week, 17 Jan. 2022 If confirmed, the Biden administration’s nominee for the top Fed job will face the most bedeviling monetary policy choices in decades. Nate Dicamillo, Quartz, 22 Nov. 2021 To retain some individuality while appealing to a mass audience remains a bedeviling problem for those who write, paint, sing, play the accordion or tell jokes. Catherine Baab-muguira, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2021 Links golf can be a confounding swirl of bedeviling wind, crazy bounces, knee-high hay. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 July 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bedeviling was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near bedeviling

Cite this Entry

“Bedeviling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on bedeviling

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.