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

Definition of bedevil

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

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Other Words from bedevil

bedevilment \ bi-​ˈde-​vəl-​mənt How to pronounce bedevilment (audio) , bē-​ \ noun

Examples of bedevil in a Sentence

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

Not only did the three playoff contestants miss key putts on 18th green in regulation, but the final hole bedeviled Duffy Waldorf as well. James Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jerry Kelly bests Steve Stricker, Retief Goosen in playoff to win AmFam Championship," 23 June 2019 The is not the first hiccup to have bedeviled the new 007 adventure. Clark Collis,, "Explosion on Bond 25 set injures crew member," 4 June 2019 That astronomical riddle went on to bedevil astronomers for nearly two decades. Quanta Magazine, "Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many," 9 Jan. 2019 This is another buttress to social Darwinism, eugenics, and other theories that bedeviled civilization well into the twentieth century. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 Thousands of Liberians descended on the capital Monrovia today to protest the corruption that has bedeviled president George Weah’s administration. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Liberia has blocked social media as protesters demand the return of missing millions," 7 June 2019 Economists say the 90-day postponement of additional tariff increases that had been meant to take effect Jan. 1 may be too short to settle the disputes bedeviling U.S.-Chinese relations. Joe Mcdonald, The Seattle Times, "US-China trade talks start amid cooling economic growth," 7 Jan. 2019 In a half-dozen countries across Central and Eastern Europe, hourly labor costs are shooting up by 9% or more a year, defying a trend of weak wage growth that has bedeviled many advanced economies for years. Tom Fairless, WSJ, "Labor Shortage Lifts Wages on Europe’s Eastern Flank," 27 Sep. 2018 Don’t look for the kind of Freedom Caucus revolts that bedeviled GOP Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Secret of Pelosi’s Success," 25 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of bedevil

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for bedevil

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bedevil

The first known use of bedevil was in 1574

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English Language Learners Definition of bedevil

: to trouble (someone or something) in a constant or repeated way : to cause repeated problems for (someone or something)


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

Kids Definition of bedevil

: to trouble or annoy again and again bedeviled by problems

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More from Merriam-Webster on bedevil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bedevil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bedevil

Spanish Central: Translation of bedevil

Nglish: Translation of bedevil for Spanish Speakers

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