devise

verb
de·​vise | \ di-ˈvīz How to pronounce devise (audio) \
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)

1 law : the act of giving or disposing of real (see real entry 1 sense 2) property by will (see will entry 2 sense 1)
2 law : a will or clause of a will disposing of real property
3 law : property devised by will

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Other Words from devise

Verb

devisable \ di-​ˈvī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce devisable (audio) \ 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 Similar problems have similar fixes A range of software fixes has been devised for the original Spectre array bounds attack. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "New Spectre-like attack uses speculative execution to overflow buffers," 10 July 2018 Recently, there was a report about a couple of action stars who devise their contracts in such a way that prevents them from losing fights or appearing weaker than their counterparts. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, "Domhnall Gleeson on 'The Kitchen' and the Surprising Humor of 'Star Wars' Co-Star Adam Driver," 23 Aug. 2019 Analysts have already applied the Elo formula, an algorithm initially devised for chess that can forecast results between two opponents, to a wide range of sports. M.j., The Economist, "The Ashes will feature the weakest pair of cricket teams in decades," 31 July 2019 In much smaller letters, the sign identifies John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz as the Dartmouth College math professors who devised the influential language in 1964 on the Hanover, N.H. campus. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Forget Old Generals—Highways Can Honor High-Tech," 20 June 2019 The effects of the anti-Jewish rhetoric and imagery devised in the Middle Ages are all too vividly still with us. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 For instance, Showstopper is a vibrant royal blue devised with Margaret O’Connor, a milliner based in County Clare who trained with Philip Treacy and has designed hats worn by Lady Gaga. Jeffrey Bauman, ELLE Decor, "This Paint Brand from Ireland Wants to Tell a Story with Every Color," 5 June 2019 Those who reached the inner keep met there someone quite different from the persona devised for public purposes. Benjamin Taylor, Harper's magazine, "Exit Ghost," 10 Mar. 2019 Other YouTubers have produced videos offering their own speculation on the phenomenon, and Internet sleuths have devised elaborate (and false) conspiracy theories. Taylor Lorenz, Outside Online, "Jennelle Eliana's Rise to Vanlife Stardom," 7 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Evangelista ignored commands to surrender, and the SWAT team deployed noise and flash devises, the statement says. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage man convicted of attempted murder in May shootings that led to police standoff," 26 Sep. 2019 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

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 and Noun

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

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Statistics for devise

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce devise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of devise

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

devise

verb
de·​vise | \ di-ˈvīz How to pronounce devise (audio) \
devised; devising

Kids Definition of devise

: to think up : plan, invent We devised a plan to win.
de·​vise | \ di-ˈvīz How to pronounce devise (audio) \
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 How to pronounce devisor (audio) \ 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

History and Etymology for devise

Transitive verb

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

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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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