di·​a·​ble·​rie dē-ˈä-blə-(ˌ)rē How to pronounce diablerie (audio) -ˈa-blə- How to pronounce diablerie (audio)
: black magic : sorcery
: a representation in words or pictures of black magic or of dealings with the devil
: demon lore
: mischievous conduct or manner

Did you know?

Feeling devilish? Then you might be guilty of at least a little diablerie. Like the related and perhaps more familiar diabolical, the French diablerie originated with the Late Latin diabolus, which means "devil." Fittingly, diablerie was first applied to things related to the devil or to demons, particularly sorcery that was thought to call upon their aid; the word is also applied to representations of the demonic. Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown and Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes contain examples of such representations in literature. Nowadays, the word often suggests a devilish quality or air in a musical performance or artistic work.

Examples of diablerie in a Sentence

the boy, who was once filled with diablerie, grew up to be a staid and rather dull man since the common folk had an unshakable belief in a personal devil, a charge of diablerie was taken seriously

Word History


borrowed from French, going back to Old French, from diable "devil, the Devil" (borrowed from Late Latin diabolus) + -erie -ery — more at devil entry 1

First Known Use

1726, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of diablerie was in 1726


Dictionary Entries Near diablerie

Cite this Entry

“Diablerie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diablerie. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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