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Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin diabolus, from Ancient Greek διάβολος (diábolos). Cognate with Old Frisian diōvel, Old Saxon diuval, Old High German tiufal, Old Norse djǫfull, and Gothic 𐌳𐌹𐌰𐌱𐌰𐌿𐌻𐌿𐍃 (diabaulus).



dēofol n

  1. the Devil, Satan
  2. a devil, demon, evil spirit
    • 10th century, Ælfric, "Sexigesima Sunday"
      Dēofol sind fuglas ġeċīeġede for þām þe hīe flēogaþ ġeond þās lyft unġesewenlīċe, swā swā fuglas dōþ ġesewenlīċe.
      Demons are called birds because they fly through the air invisibly, just as birds do visibly.


Usage notes[edit]

  • The nominative plural can also be dēoflu.
  • This word can sometimes be masculine in the singular, though it is almost always neuter in the plural.
  • In the sense "THE Devil", i.e. Satan, it can be used either with or without a definite article.