- davil, debbil (pronunciation spelling)
- diuel, divel (dialectal or archaic)
- deuill, devel, devell, devill, diuell (obsolete)
From Middle English devil, devel, deovel, from Old English dēofol, dēoful, from earlier dīobul (“devil”), from Latin diabolus, ultimately from Ancient Greek διάβολος (diábolos, “accuser, slanderer”), also as "Satan" (in Jewish/Christian usage, translating Biblical Hebrew שָׂטָן (śātān)), from διαβάλλω (diabállō, “to slander”), literally “to throw across”, from διά (diá, “through, across”) + βάλλω (bállō, “throw”). The Old English word was probably adopted under influence of Latin diabolus (itself from the Greek). Other Germanic languages adopted the word independently: compare Saterland Frisian Düüwel (“devil”), West Frisian duvel (“devil”), Dutch duivel, duvel (“devil”), German Low German Düvel (“devil”), German Teufel (“devil”), Danish djævel (“devil”), Swedish djävul (“devil”) (older: djefvul, Old Swedish diævul, Old Norse djǫfull). Doublet of diable, diablo, and diabolus.
- enPR: dĕvʹəl, IPA(key): /ˈdɛvəl/
- (rare, dated) enPR: dĕvʹîl, IPA(key): /ˈdɛvɪl/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛvəl
- (theology) The chief devil; Satan.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:Satan
- Antonym: God
devil (plural devils)
- (theology) An evil creature, the objectification of a hostile and destructive force.
- (folklore) A fictional image of a man, usually red or orange in skin color; with a set of horns on his head, a pointed goatee and a long tail and carrying a pitchfork; that represents evil and portrayed to children in an effort to discourage bad behavior.
- The bad part of the conscience; the opposite to the angel.
- Antonyms: angel, conscience
- The devil in me wants to let him suffer.
- A wicked or naughty person, or one who harbors reckless, spirited energy, especially in a mischievous way; usually said of a young child.
- A thing that is awkward or difficult to understand or do.
- (euphemistic, with an article, as an intensifier) Hell.
- A person, especially a man; used to express a particular opinion of him, usually in the phrases poor devil and lucky devil.
- A printer's assistant.
- 2010, Andrea Levy, The Long Song, Tinder Press (2017), page 381:
- For he will not leave his listener to dwell upon sorrow when the print office beckons and he can show you what a good little devil he became.
- (India) A poltergeist that haunts printing works.
- A dust devil.
- 1877, H. F. Blandford, Indian Meteorologist's Vade-mecum, page 140:
- The formation of tornados and water-spouts is very probably identical with that of dust-storms and "devils," viz., a sudden disturbance of the vertical equilibrium of the atmosphere, where by an upward rush of air is generated, which rapidly becomes spiral.
- 1885, Richard F. Burton, chapter XII, in The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, volume I, The Burton Club, page 114 footnote:
- There are few sights more appalling than a sandstorm in the desert, the "Zauba'ah" as the Arabs call it. Devils, or pillars of sand, vertical and inclined, measuring a thousand feet high[.]
- (dialectal, in compounds) A barren, unproductive and unused area.
- devil strip
- (cooking) A dish, as a bone with the meat, broiled and excessively peppered; a grill with Cayenne pepper.
- 1815 February 24, [Walter Scott], Guy Mannering; or, The Astrologer. […], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), Edinburgh: […] James Ballantyne and Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, […]; and Archibald Constable and Co., […], →OCLC:
- Men and women busy in baking, broiling, roasting oysters, and preparing devils on the gridiron.
- A machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton, etc.
- A Tasmanian devil.
- 2008, Joyce L. Markovics, Tasmanian Devil: Nighttime Scavenger, page 8:
- The stories told by Harris and the other settlers only made people more afraid of the devils. In the 1800s, for example, workers at a wool company were scared that the devils would attack their sheep.
- (cycling, slang) An endurance event where riders who fall behind are periodically eliminated.
- (nautical) Ellipsis of devil seam.: The seam between garboard strake and the keel (a seam on wooden boats)
- Coordinate terms: between the devil and the deep blue sea, devil to pay
- a devil way
- be a devil
- better the devil you know
- better the devil you know than the devil you don't
- better the devil you know than the devil you don't know
- better the devil you know than the one you don't
- better the devil you know than the one you don't know
- Cartesian devil
- dance with the devil
- deal with the devil
- devil a bit
- devil bird
- devil chase
- devil dancing
- devil devil
- devil dodger
- devil dog
- devil facial tumor disease
- devil grass
- devil in disguise
- devil in music
- devilish, devillish
- devil lies in the details
- devil ray
- devilry, deviltry
- Devil's Bridge
- devil screecher
- Devil's Dyke
- devil's footstep
- devil's garden
- devil sign
- Devils Lake
- devil's lane
- devil's luck
- devil's own
- devil's strip
- devil sticks
- devil strip
- devil’s advocate
- devil’s bedposts
- devil’s books
- devil’s coach-horse
- devil’s food cake
- Devil’s Night
- devil’s staircase
- Devil’s Tower
- dust devil
- fire devil
- folk devil
- foreign devil
- full of the devil
- give the devil his due
- go to the devil
- hay devil
- he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon
- hickory horned devil
- how the devil
- idle hands are the devil's workshop
- kill devil
- let the devil out
- luck of the devil
- native devil
- needs must when the devil drives
- noonday devil
- play the devil with
- poor devil
- printer's devil
- pull the devil by the tail
- sea devil
- shoulder devil
- silver tongued devil
- snow devil
- soot devil
- speak of the devil
- speak of the devil and he appears
- speak of the devil and he shall appear
- talk of the devil
- Tasmanian devil
- Tassie devil
- Tazzie devil
- the devil
- the devil a one
- the devil has all the best tunes
- the devil is a liar
- (the) devil is in the details
- the devil looks after his own
- the devil makes work for idle hands
- (the) devil take the hindmost
- the devil we know is better than the devil we don't
- the devil we know is better than the devil we don't know
- the devil you know is better than the devil you don't
- the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know
- the devil you say
- thorny devil
- water devil
- what the devil
- where the devil
- white devil
- who the devil
- why the devil
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
devil (third-person singular simple present devils, present participle (US) deviling or devilling, simple past and past participle (US) deviled or devilled)
- To make like a devil; to invest with the character of a devil.
- To annoy or bother.
- Synonyms: bedevil; see also Thesaurus:annoy
- To work as a ‘devil’; to work for a lawyer or writer without fee or recognition.
- 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia (Avignon Quintet), Faber & Faber, published 1992, page 401:
- He did not repeat the scathing estimate of her character by Quatrefages, who at that time spent one afternoon a week devilling at the Consulate, keeping the petty-cash box in order.
- To prepare (food) with spices, making it spicy:
- To grill with cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.
- 1912, Stephen Leacock, “The Hostelry of Mr. Smith”, in Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, page 28:
- […] ; you could watch a buckwheat pancake whirled into existence under your eyes and see fowls' legs devilled, peppered, grilled, and tormented till they lost all semblance of the original Mariposa chicken.
- To finely grind cooked ham or other meat with spices and condiments.
- To prepare a sidedish of shelled halved boiled eggs to whose extracted yolks are added condiments and spices, which mixture then is placed into the halved whites to be served.
- She's going to devil four dozen eggs for the picnic.
- To grill with cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.
- UK usage doubles the l in the inflected forms "devilled" and "devilling"; US usage generally does not.
- ^ Dictionary of Regional American English
- ^ Word Detective: Tales from the berm
- Alternative form of devel
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *gʷelH-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms inherited from Old English
- English terms derived from Old English
- English terms derived from Latin
- English terms derived from Ancient Greek
- English doublets
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/ɛvəl/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English proper nouns
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English terms with usage examples
- English euphemisms
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- Indian English
- English dialectal terms
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- Middle English lemmas
- Middle English nouns