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bedevil

[bih-dev-uh l] /bɪˈdɛv əl/
verb (used with object), bedeviled, bedeviling or (especially British) bedevilled, bedevilling.
1.
to torment or harass maliciously or diabolically, as with doubts, distractions, or worries.
2.
to possess, as with a devil; bewitch.
3.
to cause confusion or doubt in; muddle; confound:
an issue bedeviled by prejudices.
4.
to beset or hamper continuously:
a new building bedeviled by elevator failures.
Origin of bedevil
1760-1770
1760-70; be- + devil
Related forms
bedevilment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for bedeviling
Historical Examples
  • And as the bedeviling thing had begun, so it had continued, losing none of its potency for evil.

    The Price Francis Lynde
  • In less than two years the world was rid of most of what had been bedeviling it.

    And All the Earth a Grave Carroll M. Capps (AKA C.C. MacApp)
  • Bud was oblivious, for he had come into Bennett's Woods to try to solve the problems that were bedeviling him.

    The Black Fawn James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • Suzanne was bedeviling him by her support and communications.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
British Dictionary definitions for bedeviling

bedevil

/bɪˈdɛvəl/
verb (transitive) -ils, -illing, -illed (US) -ils, -iling, -iled
1.
to harass or torment
2.
to throw into confusion
3.
to possess, as with a devil
Derived Forms
bedevilment, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bedeviling

bedevil

v.

1768, "to treat diabolically, abuse," from be- + verbal use of devil (q.v.). Meaning "to mischievously confuse" is from 1755; that of "to drive frantic" is from 1823. Related: Bedeviled (1570s, in a literal sense, "possessed"); bedeviling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
22
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