[ dih-vahys ]
See synonyms for: devicedevices on

  1. a thing made for a particular purpose; an invention or contrivance, especially a mechanical or electrical one.

  2. a plan or scheme for effecting a purpose.

  1. a crafty scheme; trick.

  2. a particular word pattern, figure of speech, combination of word sounds, etc., used in a literary work to evoke a desired effect or arouse a desired reaction in the reader: rhetorical devices.

  3. a mobile device: Students may not bring devices into the secure testing center.Don't leave your devices in a hot car.

  4. something elaborately or fancifully designed.

  5. a representation or design used as a heraldic charge or as an emblem, badge, trademark, or the like.

  6. a motto.

  7. Archaic. devising; invention.

Origin of device

First recorded in 1375–1425; blend of late Middle English devis “discourse, division” and devise “heraldic device, will,” both from Anglo-French, Old French, from Latin dīvīsa, feminine of dīvīsus “divided, separated”; see divisible

Other words for device

Other words from device

  • de·vice·ful, adjective
  • de·vice·ful·ly, adverb
  • de·vice·ful·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with device Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use device in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for device


/ (dɪˈvaɪs) /

  1. a machine or tool used for a specific task; contrivance

  2. euphemistic a bomb

  1. a plan or plot, esp a clever or evil one; scheme; trick

  2. any ornamental pattern or picture, as in embroidery

  3. computer hardware that is designed for a specific function

  4. a written, printed, or painted design or figure, used as a heraldic sign, emblem, trademark, etc

  5. a particular pattern of words, figures of speech, etc, used in literature to produce an effect on the reader

  6. archaic the act or process of planning or devising

  7. leave someone to his own devices to leave someone alone to do as he wishes

Origin of device

C13: from Old French devis purpose, contrivance and devise difference, intention, from deviser to divide, control; see devise

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with device


see leave to someone's own devices.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.