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be- +‎ devil


  • (UK) IPA(key): [bɪˈdɛvəɫ]
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /bɪˈdɛvəl/, /biˈdɛvəl/


bedevil (third-person singular simple present bedevils, present participle bedeviling or bedevilling, simple past and past participle bedeviled or bedevilled)

  1. To harass or cause trouble for; to plague.
    Guerrilla attacks continued to bedevil the larger army's supply routes.
    • 1988 December 19, William Styron, “Why Primo Levi Need Not Have Died”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Mr. Levi may have been bedeviled by buried conflicts unrelated to Auschwitz.
    • 2013, Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto V, scene: The Third Way,:
      Michael De Santa (Ned Luke): You know, Devin [Devin Winston], the way I see it, and hey, I'm no intelligent businessman like you, but the way I see it, there's two great evils that bedevil American capitalism of the type that you practice.
  2. To perplex or bewilder.
  3. (originally) To possess (someone's mind).

Usage notes[edit]