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 In both events, a devilish combination of low humidity and hot, dry winds whipping in from offshore created what officials described as critical wildfire conditions. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "California's third fire-safety power blackout could be the biggest one yet," 25 Oct. 2019 Arsenal frustration continued to grow as £72m winger Nicolas Pepe failed to make any meaningful contact from six yards out, having been found by a devilish cross from Bukayo Saka., "Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Gunners Lament Refereeing Decisions," 21 Oct. 2019 Don your costume and get ready for a devilish good time at the 17 Halloween bashes above. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "17 Houston Halloween bashes that will leave you screaming for more," 18 Oct. 2019 The devilish Santa Ana winds that annually blow through the state spark blazes when chanced upon dry plants. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Here's How You Can Help People Affected by California's Wildfires," 1 Nov. 2019 And that might mean giving them harps and ambrosia, rather than devilish treatment. The Economist, "Whistle while you work," 27 Oct. 2019 In her own quiet way, the lively, 74-year-old retired Notre Dame linguistics professor, with bouncing white curls and a devilish grin, is clear-eyed about the ugliness that persists in the country her son hopes to lead. Thomas Beaumont, San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP Interview: The hopes and fears of Buttigieg’s mom," 28 Sep. 2019 Decorate your favorite-flavored cupcake in red food coloring to make this devilish Halloween character. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Debonair Devil Cupcake," 12 Sep. 2019 Even the most hardcore King aficionado wouldn't rank this anemic film about a devilish proprietor whose odd antique store turns neighbor against neighbor as a particularly good adaptation. Matthew Chernov,, "10 Stephen King films that deserve remakes," 5 Sep. 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

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

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Statistics for devilish

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Devilish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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