dev·​il·​ish | \ ˈde-vᵊl-ish How to pronounce devilish (audio) , ˈdev-lish \

Definition of devilish

1 : resembling or befitting a devil: such as
b : mischievous, roguish a devilish grin
2 : extreme in a devilish hurry

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Other Words from devilish

devilish adverb
devilishly adverb
devilishness noun

Did You Know?

In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, Satan is usually referred to as diabolos or “slanderer” (from the Greek verb diaballein, “to slander,” literally “to throw across”). But in the Greek New Testament, the Hebrew word, which is Satanas or Satan in its Greek form, is used as if it were the devil’s proper name. The older Latin translations of the Bible retain Greek diabolos as diabolus, but St. Jerome’s version, the Vulgate, calls the devil Satan. Both words were borrowed into Old English, and we now call this figure both Satan and the Devil. The derived form devilish first appears in the 15th century.

Examples of devilish in a Sentence

She was attracted by his devilish charm. There was a devilish look of mischief in her eyes.
Recent Examples on the Web Among one of the more important developments in dramatic animal incidents bringing a devilish attitude to the internet this week, there’s this possum who pulled off a next-level break-in. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Chaotic Possum Who Trashed Woman's Office Has Become an Unapologetic Hero," 23 Jan. 2020 In an interview earlier this week, Fortini’s sister, Joy Wilson, said her brother had beautiful dimples and a devilish sense of humor. Shelley Murphy,, "Ground Zero’s deadly dust claims another victim," 8 Jan. 2020 Macavity Speaking of clothes, for much of the film, the nefarious cat Macavity (Elba) is wearing a hat and trench coat, befitting of his devilish character. Lauren Huff,, "Let's talk about the most bonkers moments in Cats," 21 Dec. 2019 Or head to Blueprint Chocolatiers, a rehabbed hundred-year-old building where Kim and Bruce Gustafon sell artisan bonbons, truffles, and devilish drinking chocolate. al, "Plan the ultimate holiday getaway to this historic Virginia town," 9 Dec. 2019 But perhaps a snowball does have a chance in devilish climes., "But perhaps a snowball does have a chance in devilish climes. This year, there was enough snow left to cover between 2 and 3 kilometers of Craftsbury’s trails, a breakthrough that bodes well for the method’s potential.," 9 Dec. 2019 From stargazing in Québec to burning devilish art in Guatemala, here’s what to experience and where to do it in December. National Geographic, "December hot list: 5 essential experiences," 25 Nov. 2019 Nothing is more American than the triumph of man over nature represented by the weirdly sheeplike Bedlington terrier or devilish snout on a Bull terrier. The Economist, "Lexington Impoochment," 21 Nov. 2019 The devilish details will be the responsibility of each of the NCAA’s three divisions, which are to have rules in place no later than January of 2021. Kent Somers, azcentral, "NCAA trying to move to the front of the parade by allowing athletes to make money," 30 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devilish.' 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 devilish

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for devilish

Time Traveler

The first known use of devilish was in the 15th century

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Statistics for devilish

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Devilish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for devilish


How to pronounce devilish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of devilish

: evil and cruel
: showing a desire to cause trouble but in a way that is not serious


dev·​il·​ish | \ ˈde-və-lish How to pronounce devilish (audio) , ˈdev-lish \

Kids Definition of devilish

1 : evil and cruel

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