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 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 As Johnson awaits trial in prison, the Warrens head out to discover which devilish spirit might have been to blame. Rosie Knight,, 7 June 2021 Making the high-quality thin film required for the solid electrolyte is proving to be a devilish task. University Of Houston Energy Fellows, Forbes, 14 June 2021 But her head is soon turned, as is so often the case, by a Frenchman with a devilish mustache — up until Frantz’s big reveal: said Frenchman killed Anna’s titular husband in the trenches, and his courting of her is driven by guilt. Jack King, Vulture, 7 June 2021 Did them in a dramatic, dominating way, exorcising devilish defeat itself with every dance of the net, every defensive stop, every roar of the crowd. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2021 The devilish drama returns from hiatus for Season 5. oregonlive, 30 May 2021 Thankfully, for Call Me By Your Name's adoring public, there's still Aciman's book sequel and Lil Nas X's devilish stripper-pole saga. Nick Romano,, 28 May 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

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devilish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 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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