1

devil

noun dev·il \ ˈde-vᵊl , dialectal ˈdi- \

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
3 a :an extremely wicked person :fiend
b 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
6 a :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
8 Christian Science :the opposite of Truth :a belief in sin, sickness, and death :evil, error
between the devil and the deep blue sea
:faced with two equally objectionable alternatives
devil to pay
:severe consequences used with the
  • there'll be the devil to pay if we're late

Examples of devil in a Sentence

  1. She is a tricky devil, so be careful.

  2. Those kids can be little devils sometimes.

  3. He's such a lucky devil that he'll probably win the lottery someday.

Recent Examples of devil from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

devil Synonyms

Synonyms
archfiend, Beelzebub, fiend, Lucifer, Old Nick, Satan, serpent
Related Words
deuce, dickens; Mephistopheles
Near Antonyms
angel

2

devil

verb

Definition of devil

deviled or devilled; deviling or devilling \ˈde-və-liŋ, ˈdev-liŋ\
transitive verb
1 :to season highly
  • deviled eggs
2 :tease, annoy

Recent Examples of devil from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of devil

1800


DEVIL Defined for English Language Learners

devil

noun

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

devil

noun dev·il \ ˈde-vəl \

Definition of devil for Students

1 often capitalized :the most powerful spirit of evil
2 :an evil spirit :demon, fiend
3 :a wicked or cruel person
4 :an attractive, mischievous, or unfortunate person
  • a handsome devil
  • poor devils


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