9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-vahyz] /dɪˈvaɪz/
verb (used with object), devised, devising.
to contrive, plan, or elaborate; invent from existing principles or ideas:
to devise a method.
Law. to assign or transmit (property) by will.
Archaic. to imagine; suppose.
verb (used without object), devised, devising.
to form a plan; contrive.
  1. the act of disposing of property, especially real property, by will.
  2. a will or clause in a will disposing of property, especially real property.
  3. the property so disposed of.
Origin of devise
1150-1200; (v.) Middle English devisen to inspect, design, compose < Old French deviser < Vulgar Latin *dēvīsāre, for *dīvīsāre, frequentative of Latin dīvidere to divide; (noun) see device
Related forms
deviser, noun
predevise, verb (used with object), predevised, predevising.
self-devised, adjective
undevised, adjective
well-devised, adjective
Can be confused
device, devise.
1. See prepare. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for devising
  • He was a maestro of the laboratory, skilled in improving apparatuses and devising experiments.
  • Conservationists are now devising humane ways to ward off the elephants.
  • He also reduced its width by devising pistons that didn't have to travel as far to produce the power needed to drive the ship.
  • The information has also proved helpful in devising conservation strategies.
  • His principal grace, it seems, is an occasional flash of inventive genius in devising ways of getting into large sporting events.
  • Today's best agents excel at devising blueprints that convey how a movie or a production company should look and feel.
  • The writers themselves mostly shouted slogans of their own devising.
  • And even upon this slender occasion he gave himself to the devising of this order.
  • The rest of the day was spent in castle-building, devising plans for the future, and longing for the morrow.
  • So we're hoping to start a conversation about that on our own campus, where a committee is devising a new five-year academic plan.
British Dictionary definitions for devising


to work out, contrive, or plan (something) in one's mind
(transitive) (law) to dispose of (property, esp real property) by will
(transitive) (obsolete) to imagine or guess
noun (law)
  1. a disposition of property by will
  2. the property so transmitted Compare bequeath (sense 1)
a will or clause in a will disposing of real property Compare bequest (sense 2)
Derived Forms
deviser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French deviser to divide, apportion, intend, from Latin dīvidere to divide
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for devising



early 13c., "to form, fashion;" c.1300, "to plan, contrive," from Old French deviser "dispose in portions, arrange, plan, contrive" (in modern French, "to chat, gossip"), from Vulgar Latin *divisare, frequentative of Latin dividere "to divide" (see divide). Modern sense is from "to arrange a division" (especially via a will), a meaning present in the Old French word. Related: Devised; devising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for devise

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for devising

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with devising

Nearby words for devising