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

  • transitive v. To form, plan, or arrange in the mind; design or contrive: devised a new system for handling mail orders.
  • transitive v. Law To transmit or give (real property) by will.
  • transitive v. Archaic To suppose; imagine.
  • n. The act of transmitting or giving real property by will.
  • n. The property or lands so transmitted or given.
  • n. Law A will or clause in a will transmitting or giving real property.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To use one's intellect to plan or design (something).
  • v. To leave (property) in a will.
  • n. the act of leaving real property in a will
  • n. such a will, or a clause in such a will
  • n. the real property left in such a will

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of giving or disposing of real estate by will; -- sometimes improperly applied to a bequest of personal estate.
  • n. A will or testament, conveying real estate; the clause of a will making a gift of real property.
  • n. Property devised, or given by will.
  • n. Device. See device.
  • intransitive v. To form a scheme; to lay a plan; to contrive; to consider.
  • transitive v. To form in the mind by new combinations of ideas, new applications of principles, or new arrangement of parts; to formulate by thought; to contrive; to excogitate; to invent; to plan; to scheme.
  • transitive v. To plan or scheme for; to purpose to obtain.
  • transitive v. To say; to relate; to describe.
  • transitive v. To imagine; to guess.
  • transitive v. To give by will; -- used of real estate; formerly, also, of chattels.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To divide; distinguish.
  • To say; tell; relate; describe.
  • To imagine; conjecture; guess, or guess at.
  • To think or study out; elaborate in the mind; invent; contrive; plan: as, to devise a new machine, or a new method of doing anything; to devise a plan of defense; to devise schemes of plunder.
  • To plan or scheme for; purpose to obtain.
  • To give, assign, make over, or transmit (real property) by will.
  • Synonyms To concoct, concert.
  • To consider; lay a plan or plans; form a scheme or schemes; contrive.
  • n. (dē˙-vīs′ ). An obsolete spelling of device.
  • n. In law: The act of bequeathing by will.
  • n. A will or testament.
  • n. A gift of real property by will: sometimes loosely used of personal property.
  • n. The clause in a will by which such gift is made.

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

  • n. (law) a gift of real property by will
  • v. arrange by systematic planning and united effort
  • n. a will disposing of real property
  • v. give by will, especially real property
  • v. come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort


Middle English devisen, from Old French deviser, from Vulgar Latin *dēvīsāre, from Latin *dīvīsāre, frequentative of dīvidere, to divide; see divide.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English devisen, devysen, from Latin devisare, frequentative of devidere. (Wiktionary)



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