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 Like many other millennials, Holmes is grappling with just the latest financial woe to bedevil his generation. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "As COVID-19 rages, millennials make up growing share of 'sandwich generation,' caring for kids and parents," 18 Nov. 2020 The largest wildfire in Colorado history grew to more than 200,000 acres, officials said Monday, as other blazes continued to bedevil firefighters across the state. NBC News, "Record-setting Cameron Peak wildfire consumes more than 200,000 acres in Colorado," 19 Oct. 2020 And that means probably finding the best deal for itself and then hoping that the outrage domestically can not bedevil it for a very long time. Fortune, "The U.S. has nailed Chinese companies this year. Why hasn’t Beijing retaliated?," 17 Sep. 2020 The key to Williams’ incredible season has been a killer changeup that continues to bedevil hitters. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A recent mechanical tweak has Brewers closer Josh Hader bringing the heat once again," 24 Sep. 2020 All of this is so much more important now, when the isolation that can bedevil retirement has been magnified during lockdown. Robin Marantz Henig, The Atlantic, "Grandparents Could Ease the Burden of Homeschooling," 10 Sep. 2020 Many of the same issues that bedevil comparing neutralizing antibody assays, apply equally to assays for T-cell responses. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Scientists to Wall Street: You don’t really understand how COVID vaccine tests work," 24 Aug. 2020 No account of the millennial aesthetic could fail to address pink: For the better part of a decade, millennial pink bedeviled anyone a color could bedevil. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "A Design Aesthetic That Lets You Succeed In a World That Doesn’t Care If You Fail," 9 Mar. 2020 Stubborn unemployment, low wages, poor housing conditions, and inadequate health care continue to bedevil many African Americans in and around this city—and then the coronavirus pandemic came to town. Brett Pulley,, "Atlanta Protests Reveal Divides in Bastion of Black Success," 8 June 2020

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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Statistics for bedevil

Last Updated

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bedevil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on bedevil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bedevil

Nglish: Translation of bedevil for Spanish Speakers

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