dev·​il·​ish | \ˈde-vᵊl-ish, ˈdev-lish\

Definition of devilish 

1 : resembling or befitting a devil: such as

a : evil, sinister

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

Humor, horror and devilish fun combine for a PG-13 rating. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Double feature set for Levy Park on June 29," 19 June 2018 The video features a definite sponsorship by Lyft as the singer plays chauffer to the devilish twosome. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Galantis and Max Moto-Surf LA in 'Satisfied,' Hit Big On 'Mama Look At Me Now': Watch," 13 July 2018 Capricorns are represented by the devil in the tarot and these devilish sea goats can appear intimidating in their online profiles. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Online Dating Style," 6 July 2018 Boisley’s responsible for the ice cream sandwiches at lunch, devilish little bites of childhood with grownup ice creams like avocado-lime between red velvet and chocolate sandwich cakes. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Cured makes a 3½-star statement at the Pearl," 28 June 2018 Presidential summits are always preprogrammed, down to the devilish details and await only the signature on a fait accompli. I. William Zartman, WSJ, "Kim Jong Un and the Art of the Asian Deal," 24 June 2018 This is the devilish problem of the Trump era in a nutshell. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The fight over family separations proved how broken Trump’s America really is," 22 June 2018 Bono wore a top hat and acted the flamboyant master of ceremonies, even reviving his devilish MacPhisto character from the 1990s in a monologue that referenced President Trump and Kim Jong Un. Dan Deluca,, "U2 keeps the faith with spectacularly staged 'Experience + Innocence' show at the Wells Fargo Center," 14 June 2018 Though with details as devilish as these, negotiators might prefer to delay. Evan Horowitz,, "Trump-Kim summit may be more warm-up act than finale," 11 June 2018

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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Statistics for devilish

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for devilish

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

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More Definitions for devilish



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, ˈdev-lish\

Kids Definition of devilish

1 : evil and cruel

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More from Merriam-Webster on devilish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for devilish

Spanish Central: Translation of devilish

Nglish: Translation of devilish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of devilish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on devilish

What made you want to look up devilish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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