devil

[dev-uhl]
noun
1.
Theology.
a.
(sometimes initial capital letter) the supreme spirit of evil; Satan.
b.
a subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God, and having power to afflict humans both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption.
2.
an atrociously wicked, cruel, or ill-tempered person.
3.
a person who is very clever, energetic, reckless, or mischievous.
4.
a person, usually one in unfortunate or pitiable circumstances: The poor devil kept losing jobs through no fault of his own.
5.
Also called printer's devil. Printing. a young worker below the level of apprentice in a printing office.
6.
any of various mechanical devices, as a machine for tearing rags, a machine for manufacturing wooden screws, etc.
7.
Nautical. (in deck or hull planking) any of various seams difficult to caulk because of form or position.
8.
any of various portable furnaces or braziers used in construction and foundry work.
9.
the devil, (used as an emphatic expletive or mild oath to express disgust, anger, astonishment, negation, etc.): What the devil do you mean by that?
verb (used with object), deviled, deviling or (especially British) devilled, devilling.
10.
to annoy; harass; pester: to devil Mom and Dad for a new car.
11.
to tear (rags, cloth, etc.) with a devil.
12.
Cookery. to prepare (food, usually minced) with hot or savory seasoning: to devil eggs.
Idioms
13.
between the devil and the deep (blue) sea, between two undesirable alternatives; in an unpleasant dilemma.
14.
devil of a, extremely difficult or annoying; hellish: I had a devil of a time getting home through the snow.
15.
give the devil his due, to give deserved credit even to a person one dislikes: To give the devil his due, you must admit that she is an excellent psychologist.
16.
go to the devil,
a.
to fail completely; lose all hope or chance of succeeding.
b.
to become depraved.
c.
(an expletive expressing annoyance, disgust, impatience, etc.)
17.
let the devil take the hindmost, to leave the least able or fortunate persons to suffer adverse consequences; leave behind or to one's fate: They ran from the pursuing mob and let the devil take the hindmost.
18.
play the devil with, to ruin completely; spoil: The financial crisis played the devil with our investment plans.
19.
raise the devil,
a.
to cause a commotion or disturbance.
b.
to celebrate wildly; revel.
c.
to make an emphatic protest or take drastic measures.
20.
the devil to pay, trouble to be faced; mischief in the offing: If conditions don't improve, there will be the devil to pay.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English devel, Old English dēofol < Late Latin diabolus < Greek diábolos Satan (Septuagint, NT), literally, slanderer (noun), slanderous (adj.), verbid of diabállein to assault someone's character, literally, to throw across, equivalent to dia- dia- + bállein to throw

outdevil, verb (used with object), outdeviled, outdeviling or (especially British) outdevilled, outdevilling.
subdevil, noun
underdevil, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
devil (ˈdɛvəl)
 
n
1.  (often capital) theol the chief spirit of evil and enemy of God, often represented as the ruler of hell and often depicted as a human figure with horns, cloven hoofs, and tail
2.  theol one of the subordinate evil spirits of traditional Jewish and Christian belief
3.  a person or animal regarded as cruel, wicked, or ill-natured
4.  a person or animal regarded as unfortunate or wretched: that poor devil was ill for months
5.  a person or animal regarded as clever, daring, mischievous, or energetic
6.  informal something difficult or annoying
7.  Christian Science the opposite of truth; an error, lie, or false belief in sin, sickness, and death
8.  (in Malaysia) a ghost
9.  Compare salamander a portable furnace or brazier, esp one used in road-making or one used by plumbers
10.  any of various mechanical devices, usually with teeth, such as a machine for making wooden screws or a rag-tearing machine
11.  See printer's devil
12.  law (in England) a junior barrister who does work for another in order to gain experience, usually for a half fee
13.  meteorol a small whirlwind in arid areas that raises dust or sand in a column
14.  between the devil and the deep blue sea between equally undesirable alternatives
15.  informal devil of (intensifier): a devil of a fine horse
16.  give the devil his due to acknowledge the talent or the success of an opponent or unpleasant person
17.  go to the devil
 a.  to fail or become dissipated
 b.  (interjection) used to express annoyance with the person causing it
18.  like the devil with great speed, determination, etc
19.  informal play the devil with to make much worse; upset considerably: the damp plays the devil with my rheumatism
20.  raise the devil
 a.  to cause a commotion
 b.  to make a great protest
21.  (interjection) talk of the devil!, speak of the devil! used when an absent person who has been the subject of conversation appears
22.  (intensifier:) the devil!
 a.  used in such phrases as what the devil, where the devil, etc
 b.  an exclamation of anger, surprise, disgust, etc
23.  the devil's own a very difficult or problematic (thing)
24.  the devil take the hindmost, let the devil take the hindmost look after oneself and leave others to their fate
25.  the devil to pay problems or trouble to be faced as a consequence of an action
26.  the very devil something very difficult or awkward
 
vb , -ils, -illing, -illed, -ils, -iling, -iled
27.  (tr) to prepare (esp meat, poultry, or fish) by coating with a highly flavoured spiced paste or mixture of condiments before cooking
28.  (tr) to tear (rags) with a devil
29.  (intr) to serve as a printer's devil
30.  chiefly (Brit) (intr) to do hackwork, esp for a lawyer or author; perform arduous tasks, often without pay or recognition of one's services
31.  informal (US) (tr) to harass, vex, torment, etc
 
[Old English dēofol, from Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos enemy, accuser, slanderer, from diaballein, literally: to throw across, hence, to slander]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

devil
O.E. deofol "evil spirit," from L.L. diabolus, from Gk. diabolos "accuser, slanderer" (scriptural loan-translation of Heb. satan), from diaballein "to slander, attack," lit. "throw across," from dia- "across, through" + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Jerome re-introduced
Satan in Latin bibles, and English translators have used both in different measures. In Vulgate, as in Gk., diabolus and dæmon (see demon) were distinct, but they have merged in English and other Germanic languages. Playful use for "clever rogue" is from c.1600. Meaning "sand spout, dust storm" is from 1835. In U.S. place names, the word often represents a native word such as Algonquian manito, more properly "spirit, god." Phrase a devil way (late 13c.) was originally an emphatic form of away, but taken by late 14c. as an expression of irritation. Devil's books "playing cards" is from 1729, but the cited quote says they've been called that "time out of mind" (the four of clubs is the devil's bedposts); devil's coach-horse is from 1840, the large rove-beetle, which is defiant when disturbed. "Talk of the Devil, and he's presently at your elbow" [1660s].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

devil definition


A bad or fallen angel. (See Satan.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Easton
Bible Dictionary

Devil definition


(Gr. diabolos), a slanderer, the arch-enemy of man's spiritual interest (Job 1:6; Rev. 2:10; Zech. 3:1). He is called also "the accuser of the brethen" (Rev. 12:10). In Lev. 17:7 the word "devil" is the translation of the Hebrew _sair_, meaning a "goat" or "satyr" (Isa. 13:21; 34:14), alluding to the wood-daemons, the objects of idolatrous worship among the heathen. In Deut. 32:17 and Ps. 106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew _shed_, meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a "demon," as the word is rendered in the Revised Version. In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the "casting out of devils" a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of our Lord there were frequent cases of demoniacal possession (Matt. 12:25-30; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 4:35; 10:18, etc.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

devil

In addition to the idioms beginning with devil, also see between a rock and a hard place (devil and deep blue sea); full of it (the devil); give someone hell (the devil); give the devil his due; go to hell (the devil); luck of the devil; play the devil with; raise Cain (the devil); speak of the devil.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for devil
Matches the description of the devil given by one of the characters.
Running with the devil power, gender, and madness in heavy metal music.
On the bottom of the crab, you then remove the gills or devil.
It would only be natural for the devil to fight back against the pious invaders.
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