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 bedevil (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 The documents nonetheless expose loopholes and failings that investigators say bedevil the wider industry. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 The walks, at the onset and toward the end of Sunday’s series finale, were the kinds of issues that can bedevil inexperienced pitching staffs. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 24 Apr. 2022 The coronavirus pandemic, which in March 2020 led to a lengthy shutdown of Broadway theaters, has continued to bedevil the industry since theaters began to reopen last summer. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022 The wait times for semiconductor deliveries rose again in February, a sign that shortages are continuing to bedevil chip buyers in a wide range of industries. Ilena Peng,, 11 Mar. 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, 31 Mar. 2022 On land, in the air and across the sea, the Ukrainian military and civilian soldiers continued to bedevil and bog down Russian forces, protecting the borders of key cities and inflicting heavy losses across the battlefield. New York Times, 7 Mar. 2022 As long as that’s true, acronym bills will continue to bedevil us. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 14 Feb. 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.

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First Known Use of bedevil

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for bedevil

Time Traveler

The first known use of bedevil was in 1574

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bedevil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bedevil


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

Kids Definition of bedevil

: to trouble or annoy again and again bedeviled by problems

More from Merriam-Webster on bedevil

Nglish: Translation of bedevil for Spanish Speakers


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