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)

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

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 For one thing, anxious users who hammer the Update Now button in their Windows Update settings menu will receive the May 2019 Update first, as well as commercial customers and any devices nearing the end of their support phase. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft will ship the Windows 10 May 2019 Update in late May, giving you power over updates," 4 Apr. 2019 With the help of Play-Doh, WSJ's Joanna Stern explains the technical hurdles to multi-device wireless charging, then recommends some OK-but-not-great alternatives. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "Apple Didn’t Solve Our Horrible Gadget-Charging Mess and Nobody Else Has, Either," 4 Apr. 2019 Nuclear weapons are enormously destructive devices capable of level entire cities, and arguably ending human civilization in the case of an all-out nuclear exchange. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What If We Blew Up All The World’s Nukes at Once?," 1 Apr. 2019 This nifty little device is designed to keep your drink safe and sound, right on the arm of your couch or sofa. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "This Genius Cup Holder Will Totally Transform Your Netflix Marathons," 21 Mar. 2019 Some experts argue that the level of radiation emitted from Bluetooth wireless devices is dangerous. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Can AirPods and Other Wireless Headphones Really Cause Cancer?," 17 Mar. 2019 Netflix has confirmed that some streaming devices have been left in the Bandersnatch cold. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Not Bander-snatched: Black Mirror confirms fifth season plans," 28 Dec. 2018 While the devices are actually very similar in dimensions and weight, their battery life differs greatly. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Amazon's All-new Kindle for $89.99 is priced for budget users," 20 Mar. 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.

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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

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Statistics for device

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for device

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

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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

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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

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