- (sometimes initial capital letter)the supreme spirit of evil; Satan.
- a subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God, and having power to afflict humans both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption.
verb (used with object), dev·iled, dev·il·ing or (especially British) dev·illed, dev·il·ling.
- to fail completely; lose all hope or chance of succeeding.
- to become depraved.
- (an expletive expressing annoyance, disgust, impatience, etc.)
- to cause a commotion or disturbance.
- to celebrate wildly; revel.
- to make an emphatic protest or take drastic measures.
Origin of devil
Related Words for devilrogue, scamp, ogre, imp, dastard, adversary, brute, beast, knave, villain, Lucifer, Satan, hellion, fiend, genie, scoundrel, monster, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, djinn
Examples from the Web for devil
Contemporary Examples of devil
The West would be wise to think of Putin as the devil it knows.Think Putin’s Bad? Wait for the Next Guy
November 14, 2014
Can we imagine Stephen Vincent Benet writing The Devil and Barbara Boxer?Election Day Is Scarier Than Halloween
P. J. O’Rourke
November 1, 2014
For both the possessed and the priest-practitioner, driving out the devil can be dangerous to mind, body and spirit.
He says certain books, and even scary Halloween horror movies, tempt people to the devil.
A misfit according to his mother, he reportedly told a friend the devil was after him.Lone Wolves, Terrorist Runts, and the Stray Dogs of ISIS
October 24, 2014
Historical Examples of devil
And you forget that—that devil—suppose she's as good as her threat?The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
And, the devil of it, that love increasing with her—what shall I call it?Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
I can look any man in the face and tell him to go to the devil.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
It's a pity it wasn't the devil himself instead of his fish!Weighed and Wanting
The mitigation of that horror they condemn, resent, and often ascribe to the devil.The Conquest of Fear
- to fail or become dissipated
- (interjection)used to express annoyance with the person causing it
- to cause a commotion
- to make a great protest
- used in such phrases as what the devil, where the devil, etc
- an exclamation of anger, surprise, disgust, etc
verb -ils, -illing or -illed or US -ils, -iling or -iled
Word Origin for devil
Old English deofol "evil spirit, a devil, the devil, false god, diabolical person," from Late Latin diabolus (also the source of Italian diavolo, French diable, Spanish diablo; German Teufel is Old High German tiufal, from Latin via Gothic diabaulus).
The Late Latin word is from Ecclesiastical Greek diabolos, in Jewish and Christian use, "Devil, Satan" (scriptural loan-translation of Hebrew satan), in general use "accuser, slanderer," from diaballein "to slander, attack," literally "throw across," from dia- "across, through" + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Jerome re-introduced Satan in Latin bibles, and English translators have used both in different measures.
In Vulgate, as in Greek, diabolus and dæmon (see demon) were distinct, but they have merged in English and other Germanic languages.
Playful use for "clever rogue" is from c.1600. Meaning "sand spout, dust storm" is from 1835. In U.S. place names, the word often represents a native word such as Algonquian manito, more properly "spirit, god." Phrase a devil way (late 13c.) was originally an emphatic form of away, but taken by late 14c. as an expression of irritation.
Devil's books "playing cards" is from 1729, but the cited quote says they've been called that "time out of mind" (the four of clubs is the devil's bedposts); devil's coach-horse is from 1840, the large rove-beetle, which is defiant when disturbed. "Talk of the Devil, and he's presently at your elbow" [1660s].
In addition to the idioms beginning with devil
- devil and deep blue sea
- devil of a
- devil take the hindmost, the
- devil to pay, the
- between a rock and a hard place (devil and deep blue sea)
- full of it (the devil)
- give someone hell (the devil)
- give the devil his due
- go to hell (the devil)
- luck of the devil
- play the devil with
- raise Cain (the devil)
- speak of the devil