Definition of devious
devious was our Word of the Day on 04/01/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of devious in a Sentence
a dishonest and devious politician
He took us by a devious route to the center of the city.
Recent Examples of devious from the Web
Owens, after a devious whisper in his ear from Triple H, turned on Jericho and their best friends-turned-enemies feud was highlighted by a sensational match at WrestleMania.
Some owners of music search sites, like Powell, believe that Napster’s bot restriction is just a devious way to keep Napster’s service closed.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devious'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The "Lost" History of Devious
If you think someone devious has lost their way, you're right, etymologically speaking - the word derives from the Latin adjective devius, itself formed from the prefix de- ("from" or "away") and the noun "via" ("way"). When "devious" was first used in the late 16th century, it implied a literal wandering off the "way," suggesting something that meandered or had no fixed course (as in "a devious route" or "devious breezes"). Relatively quickly, however, the word came to suggest someone or something that had metaphorically rather than literally left the "right path" or to deceitful (rather than "straight"-forward) behavior.
DEVIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of devious for English Language Learners
: willing to lie and trick people in order to get what is wanted
: not straight or direct : having many twists and turns
DEVIOUS Defined for Kids
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