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[dev-uh l-mey-kair] /ˈdɛv əl meɪˈkɛər/
reckless; careless; rollicking.
Origin of devil-may-care
First recorded in 1785-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for devil-may-care
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Texan with his devil-may-care ways that masked the real character of him.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx
  • The devil-may-care spirit was always a great factor with the men.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • What a jaunty, ugly, devil-may-care set of fellows they were!

    Ben Comee

    M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
  • He was a devil-may-care 43 Irishman, brimful of the virtues and the vices of his race.

    A Daughter of Raasay William MacLeod Raine
  • You may know them by their saucy, chiding, devil-may-care hum.

    Expository Writing Mervin James Curl
  • They absorb, without volition, their part of the atmosphere of devil-may-care.

  • She was thinking of Beefy—dear, kind-hearted, devil-may-care, old Beefy.

    John Brown Captain R. W. Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for devil-may-care


careless or reckless; happy-go-lucky: a devil-may-care attitude
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 devil-may-care

1837 (but suggested in other forms by 1793).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for devil-may-care



Reckless; cavalier: a devil-maycare insouciance (1790s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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