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

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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 In director Romola Garai's devilish horror flick, an ex-soldier (Alec Secareanu) moves in to help a young woman (Carla Juri) with the upkeep of her decrepit house. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2021 But what if Marvel has been planting devilish seeds in these Phase 4 movies for a big Mephisto reveal later on down the road. Chris Smith, BGR, 1 Sep. 2021 Winds have a devilish affect on wildfire, and big ones can generate their own weather systems. Julie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Aug. 2021 The latest incarnation conjures nostalgic joy with storybook art, fresh arrangements of classic music, and devilish gameplay. Jess Grey, Wired, 19 Aug. 2021 Only after a moment does one notice the sinister serpent coiled around the tree, with his devilish head poking out from in between the split in its trunk. Benjamin Lima, Dallas News, 26 July 2021 And the bill proposed this week has a lot of devilish details. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 21 July 2021 Is this another copy of the son of Laufey—a more devilish Loki from another century? Alex Kane, USA TODAY, 9 June 2021 On the same devilish green that day, Mickelson had three-putted and spun three consecutive wedge shots off the green for a quadruple-bogey 9. New York Times, 17 June 2021

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

History and Etymology for devilish

Middle English develyssh, from devel devil entry 1 + -yssh -ish

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Time Traveler for devilish

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

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devilish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce devilish (audio) , ˈdev-lish \

Kids Definition of devilish

1 : evil and cruel

More from Merriam-Webster on devilish

Nglish: Translation of devilish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of devilish for Arabic Speakers


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