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.
Did You Know?
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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up devious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).