[ dee-vee-uhs ]
See synonyms for devious on
  1. departing from the most direct way; circuitous; indirect: a devious course.

  2. without definite course; vagrant: a devious current.

  1. departing from the proper or accepted way; roundabout: a devious procedure.

  2. not straightforward; shifty or crooked: a devious scheme to acquire wealth.

Origin of devious

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin dēvius “out-of-the-way, erratic,” from dē- de- + -vius (adjective derivative of via “way”)

Other words for devious

Other words from devious

  • de·vi·ous·ly, adverb
  • de·vi·ous·ness, noun
  • non·de·vi·ous, adjective
  • non·de·vi·ous·ly, adverb
  • non·de·vi·ous·ness, noun
  • un·de·vi·ous, adjective
  • un·de·vi·ous·ly, adverb
  • un·de·vi·ous·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use devious in a sentence

  • It wound deviously, as though Huxham wished to make the approach to his abode as difficult as possible.

    The Solitary Farm | Fergus Hume
  • Odd little devils of whirlwinds, marked by columnar pillars of dust, danced deviously across the fields and along the trails.

    Desert Conquest | A. M. Chisholm

British Dictionary definitions for devious


/ (ˈdiːvɪəs) /

  1. not sincere or candid; deceitful; underhand

  2. (of a route or course of action) rambling; indirect; roundabout

  1. going astray from a proper or accepted way; erring

Origin of devious

C16: from Latin dēvius lying to one side of the road, from de- + via road

Derived forms of devious

  • deviously, adverb
  • deviousness, 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