- departing from the most direct way; circuitous; indirect: a devious course.
- without definite course; vagrant: a devious current.
- departing from the proper or accepted way; roundabout: a devious procedure.
- not straightforward; shifty or crooked: a devious scheme to acquire wealth.
Origin of devious
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for devious
In ways large and small, devious and immature, ingenious and inspiring, she struggled to escape.The Day the Fairytale Died
July 12, 2014
Rocket teamed up with the Incredible Hulk to overthrow Judson Jakes, a devious mole.11 Things to Know About Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy
February 19, 2014
“I love college football,” she tells me with a devious grin.Meet the Pint-Sized Pro Golfers of Netflix’s ‘The Short Game’
December 12, 2013
Many of those who voted for President Clinton, Bork averred, did so because they were rooked by devious liberal lies.Speed Read: Best Bits From Robert Bork’s ‘Slouching Towards Gomorrah’
December 20, 2012
Its intentions were not dark and devious, nor threatening our freedoms.How to Make a $50 Bill Worth Millions
March 30, 2010
In arriving at this decision her mind traveled a number of devious roads.Her Father's Daughter
We will go by devious ways, and so, I hope, will reach Sherwood in safety.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
I have approached by the most devious and undiscovered paths.Imogen
He might approach the subject by these devious ways, he told himself.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
Perplexed by his devious ramble, he was more at fault than ever.Chronicles of Border Warfare
Alexander Scott Withers
- not sincere or candid; deceitful; underhand
- (of a route or course of action) rambling; indirect; roundabout
- going astray from a proper or accepted way; erring
Word Origin and History for devious
1590s, "out of the way," from Latin devius "out of the way, remote, off the main road," from de via (see deviate). Originally in the Latin literal sense; figurative sense of "deceitful" is first recorded 1630s. Related: Deviously; deviousness. Figurative senses of the Latin word were "retired, sequestered, wandering in the byways, foolish, inconsistent."