Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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?
  • transitive v. To season (food) heavily.
  • transitive v. To annoy, torment, or harass.
  • transitive 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A creature of hell.
  • n. (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. 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. 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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. An expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or, ironically, of negation.
  • n. A dish, as a bone with the meat, broiled and excessively peppered; a grill with Cayenne pepper.
  • n. A machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton, etc.
  • transitive v. To make like a devil; to invest with the character of a devil.
  • transitive v. To grill with Cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A false accuser; a traducer or slanderer.
  • n. [This use of the original term διάβολος occurs 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.
  • n. [Used in the English versions of the New Testament to translate the Greek δαιμόνιον and 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.
  • n. A false god; an idol.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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

Etymologies

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)
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)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.