Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To form, plan, or arrange in the mind; design or contrive.
  • transitive verb Law To transmit or give (real property) by will.
  • transitive verb Archaic To suppose; imagine.
  • noun The act of transmitting or giving real property by will.
  • noun The property or lands so transmitted or given.
  • noun A will or clause in a will transmitting or giving real property.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun (dē˙-vīs′ ). An obsolete spelling of device.
  • noun In law: The act of bequeathing by will.
  • noun A will or testament.
  • noun A gift of real property by will: sometimes loosely used of personal property.
  • noun The clause in a will by which such gift is made.

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

  • transitive verb 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 verb To plan or scheme for; to purpose to obtain.
  • transitive verb obsolete To say; to relate; to describe.
  • transitive verb obsolete To imagine; to guess.
  • transitive verb (Law) To give by will; -- used of real estate; formerly, also, of chattels.
  • noun The act of giving or disposing of real estate by will; -- sometimes improperly applied to a bequest of personal estate.
  • noun A will or testament, conveying real estate; the clause of a will making a gift of real property.
  • noun Property devised, or given by will.
  • intransitive verb To form a scheme; to lay a plan; to contrive; to consider.
  • noun obsolete Device. See device.

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English devisen, from Old French deviser, from Vulgar Latin *dēvīsāre, from Latin *dīvīsāre, frequentative of dīvidere, to divide; see divide.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English devisen, devysen, from Latin devisare, frequentative of devidere.

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