Definition of devil
1 often capitalized : the personal supreme spirit of evil often represented in Jewish and Christian belief as the tempter of humankind, the leader of all apostate angels, and the ruler of hell —usually used with the —often used as an interjection, an intensive, or a generalized term of abuse <what the devil is this?> <the devil you say!>
2 : an evil spirit : demon
3a : an extremely wicked person : fiendb archaic : a great evil
4 : a person of notable energy, recklessness, and dashing spirit; also : one who is mischievous <those kids are little devils today>
5 : fellow —usually used in the phrases poor devil, lucky devil
6a : something very trying or provoking <having a devil of a time with this problem>b : severe criticism or rebuke : hell —used with the <I'll probably catch the devil for this>c : the difficult, deceptive, or problematic part of something <the devil is in the details>
7 : dust devil
between the devil and the deep blue sea
devil to pay
Examples of devil in a sentence
She is a tricky devil, so be careful.
Those kids can be little devils sometimes.
He's such a lucky devil that he'll probably win the lottery someday.
Origin and Etymology of devil
Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, from Late Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos, literally, slanderer, from diaballein to throw across, slander, from dia- + ballein to throw; probably akin to Sanskrit gurate he lifts up
First Known Use: before 12th century
First Known Use of devil
DEVIL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of devil for English Language Learners
the Devil : the most powerful spirit of evil in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam who is often represented as the ruler of hell
: an evil spirit
: a person who does bad things or causes trouble usually in a way that is not too serious
DEVIL Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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