American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. In many religions, the major personified spirit of evil, ruler of Hell, and foe of God. Used with the.
- n. A subordinate evil spirit; a demon.
- n. A wicked or malevolent person.
- n. A person: a handsome devil; the poor devil.
- n. An energetic, mischievous, daring, or clever person.
- n. Printing A printer's devil.
- n. A device or machine, especially one having teeth or spikes and used for tearing.
- n. An outstanding example, especially of something difficult or bad: has a devil of a temper.
- n. A severe reprimand or expression of anger: gave me the devil for cutting class.
- n. Informal Used as an intensive: Who the devil do you think you are?
- v. To season (food) heavily.
- v. To annoy, torment, or harass.
- v. To tear up (cloth or rags) in a toothed machine.
- idiom. between the devil and the deep blue sea Between two equally unacceptable choices.
- idiom. full of the devil Very energetic, mischievous, daring, or clever.
- idiom. give the devil his due To give credit to a disagreeable or malevolent person.
- idiom. go to the devil To be unsuccessful; fail.
- idiom. go to the devil To become depraved.
- idiom. go to the devil Used in the imperative to express anger or impatience.
- idiom. play the devil with To upset or ruin.
- idiom. the devil take the hindmost Let each person follow self-interest, leaving others to fare as they may.
- idiom. the devil to pay Trouble to be faced as a result of an action: There'll be the devil to pay if you allow the piglets inside the house.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A false accuser; a traducer or slanderer.
- n. [This use of the original term
διάβολοςoccurs several times in the New Testament (1 Tim. iii. 11; 2 Tim. iii. 3; Tit. ii. 3), but this is the only instance in which, when so used, it is rendered devil in the English versions.]
- n. In Christian theology, a powerful spirit of evil, otherwise called Satan (the adversary or opposer): with the definite article, and always in the singular. He is frequently referred to as the Evil One, the prince of the powers of the air, the prince of darkness, Beelzebub, Belial, the tempter, the old serpent, the dragon, etc. He is represented in the New Testament as a person, the enemy of God and of holiness, and bent on the ruin of man, but possessing only limited power, subordinate to God, able to operate only in such ways as God permits, and capable of being made subservient to God's will. In this respect he differs from Ahriman, the evil principle in the dualistic system of the Persians, who was coeval and coördinate with Ormuzd, the spirit of light and goodness, and from the devil of the Gnostic and Manichean systems. The medieval conception of the devil was largely derived from pagan mythology.
- n. [Used in the English versions of the New Testament to translate the Greek
δαιμόνιονand δαίμων, a spirit or demon: see demon.] A subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God, and having power to afflict man both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption; one of the malignant spirits employed by Satan as his agents in his work of evil; a demon. See demoniacal.
- n. A false god; an idol. [In the authorized version of the Old Testament the word devil occurs four times: twice (Lev. xvii. 7; 2 Chron. xi. 15) translating Hebrew sairim, rendered in the revised version “he-goats” or “satyrs,” and twice (Deut. xxxii. 17; Ps. cvi. 37) translating Hebrew shedim, rendered “demons” in the revised version. In the New Testament
δαιμόνιον, or demon, is in one instance (see extract) rendered “devil,” in the sense of an object of gentile worship, an idol, a false god.]
- n. A person resembling a devil or demon in character; a malignantly wicked or cruel person; a fierce or fiendish person: often used with merely expletive or exaggerative force: as, he's the very devil for reckless dash.
- n. A fellow; a rogue: used generally with an epithet (little, poor, etc.), and expressing slight contempt or pity: as, a shrewd little devil; a poor devil (an unfortunate fellow).
- n. As an expletive: The deuce: now always with the article the, but formerly sometimes with the article a, or used absolutely, preceding a sentence or phrase, and serving, like deuce and other words of related import, as an ejaculation expressing sudden emotion, as surprise, wonder, vexation, or disgust.
- n. Before the indefinite article with a noun, an emphatic negative: as, devil a bit (not a bit). Compare fiend, Scotch fient, in similar use.
- n. An errand-boy in a printing-office. See printer's devil, below.
- n. A name of several instruments or mechanical contrivances. A machine for forming flocks of wool into a more uniform mass, and at the same time removing the mechanical impurities. Also called willower, willy.
- n. Among jewelers, a bunch of matted wire on which the parts ot lockets are placed for soldering.
- n. Nautical, the seam of a ship which margins the waterways: so called from its awkwardness of access in calking. Hence the phrase the devil to pay, etc. See below.
- n. The Venus's-comb, Scandix Pecten, from the long tapering beaks of the fruit.
- n. over which, when first finished, the devil is supposed to have looked with a fierce and terrific countenance, as incensed and alarmed at this costly instance of devotion. Ray thinks it more probable that it took its rise from a small image of the devil placed on the top of Lincoln College, Oxford, over which he looks, seemingly with much fury.” (Grose, Local Proverbs.)
- To make devilish, or like a devil.
- In cookery, to season highly with mustard, pepper, etc., and broil.
- To bother; torment.
- To cut up, as cloth or rags, by means of a machine called a devil.
- n. A junior counsel who assists his superior, usually without financial reward.
- n. In mathematics, a curve whose equation is y — x + ay + bx = o.
- n. A ‘literary’ or professional ‘hack’; one who does professional work for another who gets all the credit.
- n. Gunpowder moistened with water or alcohol so as to destroy the granulation and form a paste: used as a sort of firework by boys, and as a priming or fuse.
- n. A moving whirlwind carrying up columns of sand, such as are common in India, Persia, and countries having dry seasons: sometimes called dancing-devil or desert devil, and known in upper India by the local name bagoola (Hind. bagū la).
- n. A highly seasoned dish of crabs, chicken, eggs, or the like, cooked together.
- n. The wheel-bug. Also called the devil's riding-horse.
- n. The American or Virginia virgin's-bower, Clematis Virginiana, so named from its gossamer-like fruit.
- To do professional work (literary or legal) for another who receives all the credit, and sometimes also the remuneration or fee; act as a literary or legal devil.
- n. theology A creature of hell.
- n. theology (the devil or the Devil) The chief devil; Satan.
- n. The bad part of the conscience; the opposite to the angel.
- n. A wicked or naughty person, or one who harbors reckless, spirited energy, especially in a mischievous way; usually said of a young child.
- n. A thing that is awkward or difficult to understand or do.
- n. euphemistically, as an intensifier Hell.
- n. A person, especially a man; used to express a particular opinion of him, usually in the phrases poor devil and lucky devil.
- n. A dust devil.
- n. religion, Christian Science An evil or erroneous entity.
- v. To make like a devil; to invest with the character of a devil.
- v. To annoy or bother; to bedevil.
- v. To work as a ‘devil’; to work for a lawyer or writer without fee or recognition.
- v. To grill with cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.
- v. To finely grind cooked ham or other meat with spices and condiments.
- v. To prepare a sidedish of shelled halved boiled eggs to whose extracted yolks are added condiments and spices, which mixture then is placed into the halved whites to be served.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The Evil One; Satan, represented as the tempter and spiritual of mankind.
- n. An evil spirit; a demon.
- n. A very wicked person; hence, any great evil.
- n. Low An expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or, ironically, of negation.
- n. (Cookery) A dish, as a bone with the meat, broiled and excessively peppered; a grill with Cayenne pepper.
- n. (Manuf.) A machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton, etc.
- v. To make like a devil; to invest with the character of a devil.
- v. To grill with Cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.
- n. a cruel wicked and inhuman person
- v. cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
- n. (Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions) chief spirit of evil and adversary of God; tempter of mankind; master of Hell
- n. a rowdy or mischievous person (usually a young man)
- n. an evil supernatural being
- v. coat or stuff with a spicy paste
- n. a word used in exclamations of confusion
- From Old English dēofol, from Ancient Greek διάβολος (diabolos, "accuser, slanderer"), also as "Satan" (in Jewish/Christian usage, translating Biblical Hebrew שטן, satán), from διαβάλλω (diaballō, "to slander"), literally “to throw across”, from διά (dia, "through, across") + βάλλω (ballō, "throw"). The Old English word was probably adopted under influence of Latin diabolus (itself from the Greek). Other Germanic languages adopted the word independently: compare Dutch duivel, Low German düvel, German Teufel, Swedish djävul (older: djefvul, Old Swedish diævul, Old Norse djǫfull). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, from Latin diabolus, from Late Greek diabolos, from Greek, slanderer, from diaballein, to slander : dia-, dia- + ballein, to hurl; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I dont mind your damning and blasting, and what the devil and where the devil and who the devil”
“Dere will be de devil of a row about dis ammunition -- oh! de _devil_ of a row!”
“_A Turkish proverb says, "The devil tempts the busy man, but the idle man tempts the devil_.”
“It is hypocrisy against the devil] _Hypocrisy against the devil_, means hypocrisy to cheat the devil.”
“I. ii.160 (12,6) eternal devil] I should think that our author wrote rather, _infernal devil_.”
“III. iii.28 (326,9) The devil knew not what he did, when he made men politick; he cross'd himself by't: and I cannot think, but in the end the villainies of man will set him clear] [_Set him clear_ does not mean acquit him before heaven; for then _the devil_ must be supposed _to know what_ he did: but it signifies puzzle him, outdo him at his own weapons.”
“The word devil in the Old Testament is always mentioned in the plural, suggesting not a devil as a personal entity, but a concept of demons of idolatry, the worship of idols—the false gods or deities of the heathen or pagan peoples that surrounded the Israelites geographically.”
“This record shows that the term devil is generic, being used in the plural number.”
“A three round kill on the devil is as good as a caster would do on average.”
“In fact, the devil is about to get worse than it has been in living memory.”
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