verb (used with object), be·dev·iled, be·dev·il·ing or (especially British) be·dev·illed, be·dev·il·ling.
to torment or harass maliciously or diabolically, as with doubts, distractions, or worries.
to possess, as with a devil; bewitch.
to cause confusion or doubt in; muddle; confound: an issue bedeviled by prejudices.
to beset or hamper continuously: a new building bedeviled by elevator failures.
Origin of bedevil
Related formsbe·dev·il·ment, noun
First recorded in 1760–70; be-
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for bedevilannoy
Examples from the Web for bedevil
Contemporary Examples of bedevil
Matthew Yglesias on how President Obama can woo back liberals, bedevil the GOP—and change the outcome this fall.
And the rifts produced by the idea-besotted '60s continue to bedevil us.
Historical Examples of bedevil
What's become of that little boot-black that you used to bedevil?
And I love him for it, although I believe I do like to bedevil him a little.
Which, by the same token, presently lost track of him entirely, and wandered off to find and bedevil some other poor devil.
Paul Kelpy, thou wert an honest cut-throat, to bedevil so good a house: we turn it to account—ha, ha!
Of all the vegetables calculated to bedevil human beings, he decided, growing corn was the worst.
British Dictionary definitions for bedevil
verb -ils, -illing or -illed or US -ils, -iling or -iled (tr)
Derived Formsbedevilment, noun
to harass or torment
to throw into confusion
to possess, as with a devil
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
Word Origin and History for bedevil
1768, "to treat diabolically, abuse," from be- + verbal use of devil (q.v.). Meaning "to mischievously confuse" is from 1755; that of "to drive frantic" is from 1823. Related: Bedeviled (1570s, in a literal sense, "possessed"); bedeviling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper