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 devise (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 From 2010 to 2016, Aquino set out to devise a system focused on growing better, not just faster. William Pesek, Forbes, 31 May 2021 The state court system — much larger than the federal district court, more unwieldly and with a far greater volume of business — also has been unable to devise a system to resume criminal jury trials. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, 23 Nov. 2020 At least that is the sentiment expressed by members of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation in a March 29 letter to Biden urging him to devise a more comprehensive strategy than just building a charging infrastructure. Neil Cawse, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Guided by the scallop theorem, physicists have been trying to devise the simplest mechanical swimmers. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, 13 May 2021 Researchers from Stanford University were able to devise a brain implant that successfully allowed a quadriplegic man to write text messages by simply imagining the process of physically writing letters on a sheet of paper. Chris Smith, BGR, 13 May 2021 The novel’s real focus is the work of Jeannine and Danice, two scientists sent to Greenland to figure out what happened — and devise a cure as quickly as possible. Washington Post, 11 May 2021 Brunello said that, after a plan has been created, public input would be gathered in a process that could extend through July, or a bit later if the plan takes longer to devise. cleveland, 6 May 2021 In preparation for next year’s production, the company has hired diversity consultant Kelli Foster Warder, who will help devise a strategy that will change how future productions work. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So Fuer had a millworker devise custom red covers, which connect to a red bookcase tucked between the room’s two windows. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 1 Apr. 2021 The group has been working with Teen Vogue editors to firm up their collections and devise plans that are pandemic-proof. Vogue Runway, Vogue, 23 Oct. 2020 Citizens have a right to expect that their leaders will prepare for the unthinkable and devise systems that are nimble enough to respond. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 21 Oct. 2020 State authorities organized an online meeting last month with presiding judges statewide to recommend each devise a system to meet local needs. oregonlive, 12 Aug. 2020 The city has budgeted $15 million to replace 85,000 residential, commercial and industrial water meters with digital devises that allow for more accurate billing and improve leak detection. Robin Goist, cleveland, 11 Feb. 2020 Evangelista ignored commands to surrender, and the SWAT team deployed noise and flash devises, the statement says. Anchorage Daily News, 26 Sep. 2019 Unlike with alcohol, there is nothing like a Breathalyzer devise for cannabis that police can use. Sam Wood, Philly.com, 18 June 2018 A week later, undetonated explosive devises were found on another ferry. Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY, 12 Mar. 2018

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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Time Traveler for devise

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/devise. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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 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 devise (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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