devise

verb
de·vise | \di-ˈvīz \
devised; devising

Definition of devise 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to form in the mind by new combinations or applications of ideas or principles : invent devise a new strategy

b archaic : conceive, imagine

c : to plan to obtain or bring about : plot devise one's death

2 law : to give (real estate) by will (see will entry 2 sense 1) — compare bequeath

devise

noun

Definition of devise (Entry 2 of 2)

law

1 : the act of giving or disposing of real (see real entry 1 sense 2) property by will (see will entry 2 sense 1)

2 : a will or clause of a will disposing of real property

3 : property devised by will

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Other Words from devise

Verb

devisable \-ˈvī-zə-bəl \ adjective
deviser noun

Did You Know?

Verb

There's something inventive about devise, a word that stems from Latin dividere, meaning "to divide." By the time devise appeared in English in the 1200s, its Anglo-French forebear deviser had accumulated an array of senses, including "to divide," "distribute," "arrange," "array," "digest," "order," "plan," "invent," "contrive," and "assign by will." English adopted most of these and added some new senses over the course of time: "to imagine," "guess," "pretend," and "describe." In modern use, we've disposed of a lot of the old meanings, but we kept the one that applies to wills. Devise traditionally referred to the transfer of real property (land), and bequeath to personal property; these days, however, devise is often recognized as applying generally to all the property in a person's estate.

Examples of devise in a Sentence

Verb

They have devised a new method for converting sunlight into electricity. she quickly devised a new scheme when the first one failed

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And the story that Bird has devised for them, while considerably more elaborate, resembles the first in general outline. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "How the dazzling, overstuffed ‘Incredibles 2’ holds up a cracked mirror to present-day reality," 4 July 2018 From the resurgence of craft cocktails to drinks devised purely for sharing on Instagram, there always seems to be a new beverage fad sweeping through urban cafés, restaurants, and bars. Rachel King, Fortune, "Sustainable Cocktails Could Be the Next Big Trend in Bartending," 2 July 2018 Over the past half-century, Alzheimer’s researchers have faced a series of daunting challenges to devising effective treatments. Joshua Kendall, BostonGlobe.com, "Can this doctor figure out how to stop Alzheimer’s before it starts?," 11 June 2018 Many of those offspring would presumably fit the recruiting metrics Edwards has devised for the program. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Herm Edwards has plan to put Arizona State among elite in college football," 10 May 2018 So Lei devised elaborate ways to fiddle with anything high-tech. Charlie Cambell/beijing, Time, "Lei Jun Wants to Be China’s Answer to Steve Jobs. But Trump’s Trade War Is Getting In His Way," 12 July 2018 As the assistant chief in charge of the 911 call center, Reyes devised plans to deal with the flood of calls and deploy K-9s to check suspicious items, said Chief Manley. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s just a doer’: Meet Seattle police-chief candidate Ely Reyes," 9 July 2018 The swap Heinrich devised with the bill’s co-sponsor, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, is less an exchange of one chunk for another and more a complex patchwork of trades. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "Our Next National Park Could Be in New Mexico," 3 July 2018 So Mohamed devised a less costly solution: Hire a hitman to kill the police officer writing the tickets, according to Houston Police Chief Chief Art Acevedo. Jared Gilmour, star-telegram, "Man kept getting tickets. He hired a hitman to kill the cop writing them, Houston police say," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unlike with alcohol, there is nothing like a Breathalyzer devise for cannabis that police can use. Sam Wood, Philly.com, "Medical marijuana patients, legally banned from driving, may get a pass in Pa.," 18 June 2018 A week later, undetonated explosive devises were found on another ferry. Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY, "U.S. Embassy in Mexico City downgrades threat on traveling to Playa del Carmen," 12 Mar. 2018 My coping devise for this conundrum, at least on the breakfast front, is to concentrate my efforts on the weekend. Yotam Ottolenghi, New York Times, "Weekend Breakfasts to Warm the Heart, and Belly," 18 Dec. 2017 To listen to a St. Vincent album is to let go of the guitar as rhythmic driver or pyrotechnic devise. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Day for Night headliner St. Vincent exhibits a charming duality," 13 Dec. 2017 After the attack, Henderson grabbed the cash and fled, leaving the devise behind, records show. Barbara Hijek, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Cowabunga! Man robbed gas station with cattle prod, cops say," 16 Oct. 2017 The plasma can interact with electrical currents in the upper atmosphere, creating large currents that could fry power grids and electrical devises on the planet’s surface and erase magnetic tape and other media. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Could a Magnetic Shield Protect Earth From Space Weather?," 3 Oct. 2017 Now, the busy pro relies on portable solutions like Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment, a pen-like devise that targets acne with light therapy, and simply owning herself, flaws and all. Jennifer Tzeses, Cosmopolitan, "This Beauty Blogger's Advice Will Make You Feel So Much Better About Your Breakouts," 31 Aug. 2017 That included biking and doing aqua-jogging, which meant going back and forth in the pool with a flotation devise to maintain his cardiovascular while working his leg muscles with the water absorbing the pounding. Steve Brand, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Cathedral Catholic's top runner to start season healthy," 28 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devise.' 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 devise

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for devise

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French deviser, diviser, to divide, distinguish, invent, from Vulgar Latin *divisare, frequentative of Latin dividere to divide

Noun

see devise entry 1

Transitive verb

Anglo-French deviser to divide, share, bequeath, ultimately from Latin dividere to divide

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Statistics for devise

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for devise

The first known use of devise was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for devise

devise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of devise

: to invent or plan (something that is difficult or complicated)

devise

verb
de·vise | \di-ˈvīz \
devised; devising

Kids Definition of devise

: to think up : plan, invent We devised a plan to win.

de·vise | \di-ˈvīz \
devised; devising

Legal Definition of devise 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: to give (property) by will specifically : to give (real property) by will — compare alienate, bequeath, convey

Other Words from devise

devisable adjective
devisor \ˌde-və-ˈzȯr; di-ˈvī-ˌzȯr, -zər \ noun

devise

noun

Legal Definition of devise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a gift of property made in a will specifically : a gift of real property made in a will — see also abate, ademption — compare distribution

Note: Formerly devise was used to refer only to gifts of real property, and legacy and bequest were used only to refer to gifts of personal property. These distinctions are no longer closely followed. The Uniform Probate Code uses devise to refer to any gifts made in a will.

executory devise

: a devise of an interest in land that will vest in the future upon the occurrence of a contingency and that can follow a fee simple estate

Note: Executory devises were invented as a way of getting around the rule in Shelley's case, which is now largely abolished.

general devise

: a devise that is to be distributed from the general assets of an estate and that is not of a particular thing

residuary devise

: a devise of whatever is left in an estate after all other debts and devises have been paid or distributed

specific devise

: a devise of a particular item or part of an estate that is payable only from a specified source in the estate and not from the general assets

2 : a clause in a will disposing of property and especially real property

3 : property disposed of by a will

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More from Merriam-Webster on devise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for devise

Spanish Central: Translation of devise

Nglish: Translation of devise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of devise for Arabic Speakers

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