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

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 Gentes paints Regina in bold strokes but also seems more concerned with making an impression than responding to those around her, even her putative father (brought to sneaky, devilish life by Brantley). Charles Mcnulty, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2022 But to negotiate its 350 miles of treacherous shoals and devilish currents required more than a month, not to mention fortitude, superb seamanship and outright luck. Gerard Helferich, WSJ, 14 Aug. 2022 The beast sets his devilish sights on the Engel family, after their countless arguments and squabbles reach a breaking point. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 12 Aug. 2022 First, Vincent D’Onofrio reprised his role as the devilish crime lord in the last two episodes of Hawkeye. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 8 Aug. 2022 Peele plays with his audience in devilish ways before going big and bold with the visuals (particularly Hoyte van Hoytema’s dazzling cinematography) as well as the white-knuckle tension. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 20 July 2022 Those three tracks, performed as a medley, turned the venue into an apocalyptic dance party, with the Weeknd as its jovial, devilish host. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 15 July 2022 Marvel Studios has some devilish plans in store for Echo, the upcoming Disney+ series currently filming in Atlanta. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 July 2022 Decorate deviled eggs with black olive pupils and thinly-sliced pimiento veins for a truly devilish appetizer. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 27 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About devilish

Time Traveler for devilish

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near devilish




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for devilish

Last Updated

17 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Devilish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for devilish


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!