Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not straightforward; shifty.
  • adjective Departing from the correct or accepted way; erring.
  • adjective Deviating from the straight or direct course; roundabout.
  • adjective Away from a main road or course; distant or removed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Out of the direct or common way or track; circuitous; rambling: as, a devious course.
  • Moving on or pursuing a winding or confused course.
  • Erring; going astray from rectitude or the divine precepts.
  • Synonyms Circuitous, roundabout, tortuous, indirect, erratic, roving, rambling, straying. See irregular.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Out of a straight line; winding; varying from directness.
  • adjective Going out of the right or common course; going astray; erring; wandering.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Deviating; not straightforward or honest, not frank; not standard.

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

  • adjective indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; misleading
  • adjective deviating from a straight course
  • adjective characterized by insincerity or deceit; evasive

Etymologies

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

[From Latin dēvius, out-of-the-way : dē-, de- + via, road; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Ever since then, the word devious had a powerful memory association, which she now attached to Alan Daniels.

    Above Suspicion

  • Ever since then, the word devious had a powerful memory association, which she now attached to Alan Daniels.

    Above Suspicion

  • Boo Hoo, I preach hate and racism and now I think other people used it in 'devious' fashion. gimme a break. goodtimepolitics

    Wright breaks silence, says attacks 'unfair'

  • Moreover, corporations have powerful “think tanks” that work to influence public opinion in devious ways, such as creating the image of “unbiased research” by a panel of well-paid scientific charlatans – most insidiously used to discredit global warming for the past decade.

    Widespread Sustainable Consumerism is More Vital Than Taking Individual Actions

  • None of these characters is evil, none commits the transgression that precipitates the suicide, but all are driven, understandably yet horrifyingly, to behave in devious ways that wound others badly.

    Cover to Cover

  • None of these characters is evil, none commits the transgression that precipitates the suicide, but all are driven, understandably yet horrifyingly, to behave in devious ways that wound others badly.

    Cover to Cover

  • Ian: Well, it was a Ben Yalow job, and Ben is a very clever guy who is adept at using parliamentary procedure in devious ways.

    Science Fiction Awards Watch » Blog Archive » Business Meeting Report

  • Sometimes he slunk along in devious loop-like curves, and again he leaped into the air and stood stock-still.

    Janey Canuck in the West

  • I never know, but I was told that bromid of potassium, gained in devious ways from the dispensary, was the dope they used.

    The "Pen" - Long Days in a County Penitentiary

  • I never knew, but I was told that bromide of potassium, gained in devious ways from the dispensary, was the dope they used.

    The Pen

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Sounds like D V S.

    May 17, 2008