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)

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Apple executives have targeted a debut for the device sometime later this year, with hopes of producing a commercial product in 2023. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 20 May 2022 Apple's route to market for the device is going to be one of its most important strategic decisions in years. Gordon Kelly, Forbes, 17 May 2022 The cost for the Sky Glass device depends on its size, starting at 649 pounds ($881.88), or 13 pounds ($17.65) per month. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 May 2022 Apple plans to discontinue the iPod Touch, marking the end of an era for the iconic musical device launched more than 20 years ago. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 10 May 2022 Both men shared the patent for the device, and Dr. Mower holds 25 other patents in his own right. Frederick N. Rasmussen, Baltimore Sun, 30 Apr. 2022 Those who want the Apple Watch Series 7 will have to pay at least $399/$429 for the device. Chris Smith, BGR, 28 Apr. 2022 This vacuum cleaner is currently on sale at Amazon and a must-have for anyone searching for a multifunctional device. Amy Schulman,, 20 Apr. 2022 Taherzadeh was also indicted on an additional count of the second charge for another ammo device. Robert Legare, CBS News, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best tablets for kids.

Learn More About device

Time Traveler for device

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near device




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for device

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Device.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for device


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on device

Nglish: Translation of device for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of device for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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