[dev-uh l-mey-kair]


reckless; careless; rollicking.

Origin of devil-may-care

First recorded in 1785–95 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for devil-may-care

Contemporary Examples of devil-may-care

Historical Examples of devil-may-care

  • The Texan with his devil-may-care ways that masked the real character of him.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

  • The devil-may-care spirit was always a great factor with the men.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

  • What a jaunty, ugly, devil-may-care set of fellows they were!

    Ben Comee

    M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan

  • He was a devil-may-care 43 Irishman, brimful of the virtues and the vices of his race.

    A Daughter of Raasay

    William MacLeod Raine

  • You may know them by their saucy, chiding, devil-may-care hum.

    Expository Writing

    Mervin James Curl

British Dictionary definitions for devil-may-care



careless or reckless; happy-go-luckya devil-may-care attitude
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 devil-may-care

1837 (but suggested in other forms by 1793).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper