device

noun de·vice \ di-ˈvīs \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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 4)

Examples of device in a Sentence

  1. The store sells TVs, VCRs, and other electronic devices.

  2. agreeing to dismantle all nuclear devices

  3. a useful mnemonic device for remembering the names of the planets

  4. The company's method of tracking expenses is just a device to make it seem more profitable.

Recent Examples of device from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of device

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



DEVICE Defined for English Language Learners

device

noun

Definition of device for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

device

noun de·vice \ di-ˈvīs \

Definition of device for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

device

noun de·vice \ di-ˈvīs \

medical Definition of device

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


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to praise usually to excess

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