be·​dev·​il bi-ˈde-vəl How to pronounce bedevil (audio)
bedeviled; bedeviling; bedevils

transitive verb

: to possess with or as if with a devil
: to cause distress : trouble
: to change for the worse : spoil
: to confuse utterly
bedevilment noun

Example Sentences

The theory bedevils scientists, none of whom have been able to prove it true or false. The project has been bedeviled by problems since its inception.
Recent Examples on the Web Though the fire’s spread had slowed slightly by Monday, storms continued to bedevil firefighters. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 2 Aug. 2022 Though the fire’s spread had slowed slightly by Monday, storms continued to bedevil firefighters. Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 Corruption and mismanagement also bedevil national soccer authorities. Time, 3 Oct. 2022 As President Joe Biden announces his plan to forgive student debt, economists have already begun debating whether the action could compound the surging inflation that continues to bedevil the U.S. economy. Rob Wile, NBC News, 24 Aug. 2022 Those fears may also bedevil a Didi attempt to list in Hong Kong. Clay Chandler, Fortune, 4 Aug. 2022 An online drop would expose Swatch to the bots and scalpers that bedevil everything from sneaker launches to the PlayStation 5. Tim Barber, Wired, 18 July 2022 Not coincidentally, such a framework would begin to help save us from the existing problems of surveillance capitalism that already bedevil us. Wired, 8 July 2022 Northern Ireland is a permanent problem, one involving endless fixes, fudges, bargains, and compromises that will bedevil the relationship between London and Brussels from here on in. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 18 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bedevil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bedevil was in 1574

Dictionary Entries Near bedevil

Cite this Entry

“Bedevil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



be·​dev·​il bi-ˈdev-əl How to pronounce bedevil (audio)
: to trouble or annoy again and again : pester, harass
bedeviled by problems
bedevilment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on bedevil

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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