device

noun
de·​vice | \ di-ˈvīs \

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

The world of smartwatches is getting competitive with recent additions from companies that are more famous for making GPS devices and running shoes. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Buyer's Guide: How To Decide Between an Apple Watch and a Fitbit," 20 Dec. 2018 Bring in your old iPhone or other Apple device to receive trade-in credit or free recycling. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Why You May Actually Want to Upgrade to iPhone's XR Right Now," 20 Dec. 2018 First, people could access their Facebook accounts or specific Facebook features on devices and platforms built by other companies like Apple, Amazon, Blackberry and Yahoo. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Facebook “partner” arrangements: Are they as bad as they look?," 19 Dec. 2018 Inside, the rooms are furnished with a twin bed, a charging station for phones and other devices, and a mirror. Brittany Meiling, The Seattle Times, "Would you rent a bed by the hour? ‘Napping pod’ startup targets exhausted workers, students," 12 Dec. 2018 And beyond consumer electronics, its business segments also include telecommunications networks, smart devices, and cloud services. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The US government’s ongoing battle with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, explained," 11 Dec. 2018 Why this matters: Valve killed the Steam Link box because the Steam Link app would live on in mobile devices and smart TVs, but those don’t always offer the same benefits. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Valve's Steam Link app for Raspberry Pi lets you build your own PC game-streaming box," 3 Dec. 2018 Cable subscribers can also use their login to tune in via NBC Live on their laptops or devices. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "How to Watch and Live Stream the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting 2018," 27 Nov. 2018 All of the following are forbidden: headphones; wireless, hands-free devices; and hats or head coverings, unless they are worn on a religious basis. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Renew Passports: Everything You Need to Know," 10 Sep. 2018

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

16 Jan 2019

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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 \

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 \

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

Comments on device

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