Definitions

from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Reckless mischief.
  • n. Extreme cruelty; wickedness.
  • n. Evil magic; witchcraft.
  • n. An act of mischief, cruelty, or witchcraft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. devilry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Diabolical conduct; malignant mischief; devilry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Diabolical action; malicious mischief; devilry.

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

  • n. wicked and cruel behavior
  • n. reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others

Etymologies

Alteration (influenced by such words as gallantry) of devilry.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variant spelling of devilry, influenced by gallantry. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Further south, in the area north of the Aisne river, west of Laon, probably the worst example of this German deviltry is to be found.

    My Experiences at the Front

  • If this kind of deviltry works, we can expect local Democrat district attorneys to routinely indict any Republican who is successfully turning out the electorate for the Republican Party.

    Think Progress » VIDEO: Tom DeLay Exercises His Right To Incriminate Himself

  • He's in here, trying to make up his mind what kind of deviltry to get into next.

    The Fuzzy Papers

  • I was a boy at West Point I was court-martialed for tolerating some youthful "deviltry" of my classmates, in which I took no part myself, and was sentenced to be dismissed.

    Forty-Six Years in the Army

  • But one of the candidates, perhaps by way of excuse for his failure, wrote to his parents some account of the "deviltry" in which my classmates had indulged that day.

    Forty-Six Years in the Army

  • It was dark enough for any kind of deviltry in that four-hundred foot gash in the earth; the sinking moon lightened only a strip along the east wall, near the top; lower down, smoke mingling with the natural gloom cast an impenetrable veil from bank to bank; not a breath of air stirred the tomblike stillness.

    Raw Gold A Novel

  • "I would really like to know what especial kind of deviltry you young fry are up to this time," said Uncle

    The Story Girl

  • "I would really like to know what especial kind of deviltry you young fry are up to this time," said Uncle Roger one evening, as he passed through the orchard with his gun on his shoulder, bound for the swamp.

    The Story Girl

  • We can trust this to be the plain truth in regard to the Liverpool consulate, and if twenty-five thousand a year was ever obtained from it, there must have been some kind of deviltry in the business.

    The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • No tellin 'how long they may take or what kind of deviltry that camp booze may work 'em up to.

    Rimrock Trail

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