device

noun
de·​vice | \ di-ˈvīs How to pronounce device (audio) \

Definition of device

1 : something devised or contrived: such as
a(1) : plan, procedure, technique a marketing device mnemonic devices
(2) : a scheme to deceive : stratagem, trick
b : something fanciful, elaborate, or intricate in design
c : something (such as a figure of speech) in a literary work designed to achieve a particular artistic effect irony and other literary devices a plot device
d archaic : masque, spectacle
e : a conventional stage practice or means (such as a stage whisper) used to achieve a particular dramatic effect
f : a piece of equipment or a mechanism designed to serve a special purpose or perform a special function smartphones and other electronic devices a hidden recording device
2 : desire, inclination left to my own devices
3 heraldry : an emblematic design used especially as a heraldic bearing (see bearing sense 4)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of device in a Sentence

The store sells TVs, VCRs, and other electronic devices. agreeing to dismantle all nuclear devices a useful mnemonic device for remembering the names of the planets The company's method of tracking expenses is just a device to make it seem more profitable.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In the activity tracker category, there are three devices to choose from; in the smart watch category, there are five. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Fitbit Made Some Big Changes to Its Product Lineup," 27 Apr. 2019 The major breakthrough is the radioisotope identification device in Tang’s pocket, the D3S, which was built by the British company Kromek. Dan Dubno, Popular Mechanics, "This Tiny Device Can Detect Nuclear Armageddon," 25 Apr. 2019 In a sneak peek at season 6 (above), Hope Valley receives its first-ever telephone, which likely means the show is currently around the year 1915, when the device became more common. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Everything to Know About 'When Calls the Heart' Season 6," 17 Feb. 2019 Unlike traditional smokers, vape users get decidedly mixed messaging about the safety of their devices. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "So, You Want to Quit Vaping...," 1 Feb. 2019 When the promotion begins, participants will twist off the cookie and scan it with their cellphone or tablet, which will use image recognition technology to reveal an animated OREO cookie on your device. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "OREO Teamed Up With Jonathan Adler, Gray Malin, And Roomba To Bring You Insane Prizes," 25 Jan. 2019 Micromobility devices, like scooters, are rapidly entering cities. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The future of urban mobility will be shaped by these six issues," 18 Dec. 2018 So, you're left to your own devices—and with a ticking clock. Ana Colón, Glamour, "How To Make Halloween Costumes From Your Own Closet," 22 Oct. 2018 Investigators were able to recover the precise movements of the Yukon via the Garmin GPS device that had been mounted to the dash, recording the car’s trips since 2010. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Sarah Hart Was ‘Intoxicated’: Everything We’ve Learned So Far About the Hart Family From the Coroner’s Inquest," 5 Apr. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of device

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for device

Middle English devis, devise, from Anglo-French, division, plan, from deviser to divide, regulate, tell — more at devise

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about device

Statistics for device

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for device

The first known use of device was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for device

device

noun

English Language Learners Definition of device

: an object, machine, or piece of equipment that has been made for some special purpose
: a weapon that explodes
: something that is done in order to achieve a particular effect

device

noun
de·​vice | \ di-ˈvīs How to pronounce device (audio) \

Kids Definition of device

1 : a piece of equipment made for a special purpose electronic devices
2 : choice of what to do We were left to our own devices.
3 : a thing or act used to deceive : trick

device

noun
de·​vice | \ di-ˈvīs How to pronounce device (audio) \

Medical Definition of device

: a piece of equipment or a mechanism designed to serve a special purpose or perform a special function

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on device

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with device

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for device

Spanish Central: Translation of device

Nglish: Translation of device for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of device for Arabic Speakers

Comments on device

What made you want to look up device? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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