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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for devilry
Historical Examples
  • It was the Carnival week again—the mad blaspheming week of revelry and devilry.

  • I kept my eye on her after that, for I knew there was some devilry in the wind.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But this seemed to say that the devilry was over all the earth.

    The Wisdom of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton
  • They are desperate, then, and seem to exult in devilry of all kinds.

    A Final Reckoning G. A. Henty
  • There was no waiting, no coaxing; it was drive and devilry all through.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
  • Living just as he likes, setting an example of devilry to the whole neighbourhood!

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • 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 hands of a young man, wealth is an invitation to devilry.

  • And all I know about you is that you are always contriving some devilry.

    The Lady of Lynn

    Walter Besant
  • Your horses, my dear sir, resemble cats in size, and tigers in devilry!

    The Pirate

    Sir Walter Scott
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
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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
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