devil

[ dev-uh l ]
/ ˈdɛv əl /

noun

verb (used with object), dev·iled, dev·il·ing or (especially British) dev·illed, dev·il·ling.

Idioms

Origin of devil

before 900; Middle English devel, Old English dēofol < Late Latin diabolus < Greek diábolos Satan (Septuagint, NT), literally, slanderer (noun), slanderous (adj.), verbid of diabállein to assault someone's character, literally, to throw across, equivalent to dia- dia- + bállein to throw

Related forms

out·dev·il, verb (used with object), out·dev·iled, out·dev·il·ing or (especially British) out·dev·illed, out·dev·il·ling.sub·dev·il, nounun·der·dev·il, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for devil of a

devil

/ (ˈdɛvəl) /

noun

verb -ils, -illing or -illed or US -ils, -iling or -iled

Word Origin for devil

Old English dēofol, from Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos enemy, accuser, slanderer, from diaballein, literally: to throw across, hence, to slander
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

Culture definitions for devil of a

devil


A bad or fallen angel. (See Satan.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with devil of a (1 of 2)

devil of a


Also, one devil or the devil of a; hell of a. Infernally annoying or difficult, as in This is a devil of an assembly job, or She had one devil of a time getting through the traffic, or I had a hell of a morning sitting in that doctor's office. The first expression dates from the mid-1700s. The variant is a couple of decades newer and its precise meaning depends on the context. For example, We had a hell of a time getting here invariably means we had a very difficult or annoying time, but He is one hell of a driver could mean that he is either very good or very bad (see hell of a, def. 2).

Idioms and Phrases with devil of a (2 of 2)

devil


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

also see:

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