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 Each device, application and service will have different needs at different times. Ari Banerjee, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 One micro-coring device, called Ellacor, made its debut after gaining FDA approval last year. Alfredo Mineo, Allure, 2 Aug. 2022 The device, fitted with a gas chromatograph, was with Dr. Lovelock on his Antarctic voyage, and his findings helped confirm links between chlorofluorocarbons and the hole in the ozone layer. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 The $90 device that connects to a car's auxiliary power outlet, docks to the dashboard, and enables Spotify listening was doomed by a combination of limited demand and resource issues. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 27 July 2022 Meta is pulling back in some areas, including low-selling products like the Portal video chat device, which will no longer be offered to consumers and will instead be aimed at businesses. New York Times, 26 July 2022 Here’s what goes down: First, the face is cleansed with an alcohol wipe before the Tixel Thermo-Mechanical Action (TMA) device (which kind of resembles a glue gun) is applied to the face. Jamie Wilson, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 July 2022 The brand's Signature 360° Airflow Design™ involves perforations around the base of the device, where air is drawn in to feed the fire from below. Brittney Morgan And Medgina Saint-elien, House Beautiful, 25 July 2022 During tests, the Corneometer device, which gauges skin hydration levels, measured an 8% skin-moisture increase without feeling heavy. Catharine Malzahn, Good Housekeeping, 25 July 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

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Time Traveler for device

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

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Device.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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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


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