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devise

[dih-vahyz] /dɪˈvaɪz/
verb (used with object), devised, devising.
1.
to contrive, plan, or elaborate; invent from existing principles or ideas:
to devise a method.
2.
Law. to assign or transmit (property) by will.
3.
Archaic. to imagine; suppose.
verb (used without object), devised, devising.
4.
to form a plan; contrive.
noun
5.
Law.
  1. the act of disposing of property, especially real property, by will.
  2. a will or clause in a will disposing of property, especially real property.
  3. the property so disposed of.
Origin of devise
1150-1200
1150-1200; (v.) Middle English devisen to inspect, design, compose < Old French deviser < Vulgar Latin *dēvīsāre, for *dīvīsāre, frequentative of Latin dīvidere to divide; (noun) see device
Related forms
deviser, noun
predevise, verb (used with object), predevised, predevising.
self-devised, adjective
undevised, adjective
well-devised, adjective
Can be confused
device, devise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for devise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We had a system in the operating-room as perfect as I could devise it.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • I will devise it to humanity, and John Burke shall execute the will.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • His researches on the dynamo caused him to devise what he calls an 'harmonic engine.'

  • But try as I might, I could only devise something so commonplace that I let the clay spoil.

  • During their walk they might devise some means of breaking the news in a gentle way.

British Dictionary definitions for devise

devise

/dɪˈvaɪz/
verb
1.
to work out, contrive, or plan (something) in one's mind
2.
(transitive) (law) to dispose of (property, esp real property) by will
3.
(transitive) (obsolete) to imagine or guess
noun (law)
4.
  1. a disposition of property by will
  2. the property so transmitted Compare bequeath (sense 1)
5.
a will or clause in a will disposing of real property Compare bequest (sense 2)
Derived Forms
deviser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French deviser to divide, apportion, intend, from Latin dīvidere to divide
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 devise
v.

early 13c., "to form, fashion;" c.1300, "to plan, contrive," from Old French deviser "dispose in portions, arrange, plan, contrive" (in modern French, "to chat, gossip"), from Vulgar Latin *divisare, frequentative of Latin dividere "to divide" (see divide). Modern sense is from "to arrange a division" (especially via a will), a meaning present in the Old French word. Related: Devised; devising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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