Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[dev-uh l-ree] /ˈdɛv əl ri/
noun, plural devilries.
Origin of devilry
Middle English word dating back to 1325-75; See origin at devil, -ry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for devilry
Historical Examples
  • She ran back, crying out, and said she did not know what devilry was going on in the byre.

    Beowulf R. W. Chambers
  • There was no waiting, no coaxing; it was drive and devilry all through.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
  • There is something else to it, devilry and evil spells, or so I think.

    Flemish Legends Charles de Coster
  • Living just as he likes, setting an example of devilry to the whole neighbourhood!

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • There, amidst riot and devilry, he sat silently puffing at his pipe, with a set face and a smouldering eye.

  • All I ever cared for in you was your devilry, and your eyes that used to set me all on fire with love.

    Where Deep Seas Moan E. Gallienne-Robin
  • In the smoking-room, after dinner, the Colonel put forward the view that Miss Schlegel had jumped it out of devilry.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • It was the Carnival week again—the mad blaspheming week of revelry and devilry.

  • Were not these the Canadians who first tasted the devilry of gas?

    The Challenge of the Dead Stephen Graham
  • But this seemed to say that the devilry was over all the earth.

    The Wisdom of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton
British Dictionary definitions for devilry


noun (pl) -ries, -tries
reckless or malicious fun or mischief
wickedness or cruelty
black magic or other forms of diabolism
Word Origin
C18: from French diablerie, from diabledevil
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for devilry

late 14c., from devil + -ry; deviltry (1788) is a corrupt formation from it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for devilry

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for devilry

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for devilry