devilry

noun

dev·​il·​ry ˈde-vᵊl-rē How to pronounce devilry (audio)
variants or deviltry
plural devilries or deviltries
1
a
: action performed with the help of the devil : witchcraft
c
2
: an act of devilry

Examples of devilry in a Sentence

children always getting into some devilry superstitious villagers who were quick to attribute an unexpected occurrence to devilry
Recent Examples on the Web That’s enough devilry to explain at least much of Haiti’s challenges without resorting to tales of satanic influence. Matthew Brown, Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2024 Shyamalan, to be fair, has lost none of his compositional devilry; notice his bisecting of the screen with clean vertical lines—the trunk of a tree, or the edge of a shower curtain, behind which somebody may or may not lurk. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 3 Feb. 2023 Who are the sword and sorcery protagonists that scratch your itch for devilry and adventure? Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2021 Suddenly, modernists were jockeying to impose some glass-and-steel devilry atop the old dame. Shawn McCreesh, Curbed, 17 Aug. 2021 Before long, the angry and injured young wife is the one on trial for witchcraft — fighting for her life as the apparent evidence of devilry accrues. BostonGlobe.com, 6 May 2021 Aboard the ship, mysterious devilry begins to take place and a demon is suspected to be behind it. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, 8 Oct. 2020 The mildly disastrous consequences of Eddie’s devilry predictably set up the big moment at the end of the show in which Ward or June Cleaver would distill an important Life Lesson from the experience. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 19 May 2020 These winged insects pollinate plants, inspire funny memes, and rule the night like fluttery little kings, felled only by the devilry of porch lights masquerading as the moon. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, 23 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'devilry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English develrye, from devel devil entry 1 + -rye -ry

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of devilry was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near devilry

Cite this Entry

“Devilry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/devilry. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

devilry

noun
dev·​il·​ry ˈdev-əl-rē How to pronounce devilry (audio)
variants or deviltry
plural devilries or deviltries
1
: wicked or cruel behavior
2

More from Merriam-Webster on devilry

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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