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[dev-uh l-ree] /ˈdɛv əl ri/
noun, plural devilries.
Origin of devilry
1325-75; Middle English; see devil, -ry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for devilry
Historical Examples
  • She ran back, crying out, and said she did not know what devilry was going on in the byre.

    Beowulf R. W. Chambers
  • There was no waiting, no coaxing; it was drive and devilry all through.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
  • There is something else to it, devilry and evil spells, or so I think.

    Flemish Legends Charles de Coster
  • Living just as he likes, setting an example of devilry to the whole neighbourhood!

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • There, amidst riot and devilry, he sat silently puffing at his pipe, with a set face and a smouldering eye.

  • All I ever cared for in you was your devilry, and your eyes that used to set me all on fire with love.

    Where Deep Seas Moan E. Gallienne-Robin
  • In the smoking-room, after dinner, the Colonel put forward the view that Miss Schlegel had jumped it out of devilry.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • It was the Carnival week again—the mad blaspheming week of revelry and devilry.

  • Were not these the Canadians who first tasted the devilry of gas?

    The Challenge of the Dead Stephen Graham
  • But this seemed to say that the devilry was over all the earth.

    The Wisdom of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton
British Dictionary definitions for devilry


noun (pl) -ries, -tries
reckless or malicious fun or mischief
wickedness or cruelty
black magic or other forms of diabolism
Word Origin
C18: from French diablerie, from diabledevil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for devilry

late 14c., from devil + -ry; deviltry (1788) is a corrupt formation from it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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