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 That’s the question bedeviling news organizations reporting on a story about the U.S. extracting a Russian official who provided information about Kremlin interference in the 2016 presidential election. Washington Post, "Russian spy case provides test for news outlets," 12 Sep. 2019 As a Newton student, Jada has sidestepped many of the obstacles that bedevil her BPS counterparts, while capitalizing on the opportunities offered by the suburban district., "ada Pierre is tiny, her ambition drawn taut as a bowstring. The 16-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants wears her hair in a small bun atop her head, her emerging political consciousness finding its voice in the bevy of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo stickers she’s pasted to her MacBook.," 15 Sep. 2019 At long last the central question of a mystery that has bedeviled nations and individuals since the late 1840s had been resolved. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Monty Python’ alum takes on tale of doomed Franklin expedition in new book," 14 Sep. 2019 The brawny film is driven by a performance of bristling intensity, madness and blazing, bedeviled anger that should put George MacKay more firmly on the map, together with his lead role in Sam Mendes' upcoming WWI drama, 1917, later this year. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'True History of the Kelly Gang': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019 Yellow jackets are scavengers and will bedevil you at backyard cookouts. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Going out on a limb to protect Bay Area paper wasps," 26 Aug. 2019 Much the same can be said of the joint committees that were given the job of sorting out the many issues bedeviling relations between the two countries. Martin Plaut, Quartz Africa, "The glow of the historic accord between Ethiopia and Eritrea has faded," 9 July 2019 Those efforts are attempting to solve a question that has long bedeviled the courts: How to take the politics out of an inherently political process? Richard Fausset, New York Times, "With No Supreme Court End to Gerrymandering, Will States Make It More Extreme?," 28 June 2019 Food seems to be a category that keeps bedeviling Amazon., "Two years in, Amazon has hardly launched a revolution at Whole Foods," 16 June 2019

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

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for bedevil

The first known use of bedevil was in 1574

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More Definitions for bedevil


How to pronounce bedevil (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bedevil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bedevil

Spanish Central: Translation of bedevil

Nglish: Translation of bedevil for Spanish Speakers

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