[ bih-dev-uhl ]
See synonyms for: bedevilbedeviledbedevilment on

verb (used with object),be·dev·iled, be·dev·il·ing or (especially British) be·dev·illed, be·dev·il·ling.
  1. to torment or harass maliciously or diabolically, as with doubts, distractions, or worries.

  2. to possess, as with a devil; bewitch.

  1. to cause confusion or doubt in; muddle; confound: an issue bedeviled by prejudices.

  2. to beset or hamper continuously: a new building bedeviled by elevator failures.

Origin of bedevil

First recorded in 1760–70; be- + devil

Other words from bedevil

  • be·dev·il·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bedevil in a sentence

  • He felt as in some hideous dream—long-involved—a maze of delusion and bedevilment, from which there was no escape.

    Mount Royal, Volume 3 of 3 | Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Isabelle did not formulate any plan of bedevilment for the Captain, but she watched for opportunities with lynx-eyed attention.

    The Cricket | Marjorie Cooke
  • So I hope there is the greater chance of no such bedevilment happening to me.

  • Scotland is the home of weird, uncanny creatures, who take lovely shapes for the bedevilment of poor weak souls.

  • She had helped him—I had his own word for it that at Clockborough her bedevilment of the voters had really put him in.

    The Coxon Fund | Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for bedevil


/ (bɪˈdɛvəl) /

verb-ils, -illing or -illed or US -ils, -iling or -iled (tr)
  1. to harass or torment

  2. to throw into confusion

  1. to possess, as with a devil

Derived forms of bedevil

  • bedevilment, noun

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