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Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin diabolus. Cognate with Old Saxon diuval.



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.