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Variant spelling of devilry, influenced by gallantry.



deviltry (countable and uncountable, plural deviltries)

  1. Devilry.
    • 1890, Henry James, The Tragic Muse:
      The poor girl had a right to her chance, and he should not really alter anything by taking it away from her; for was she not the artist to the tips of her tresses (the ambassadress never in the world), and would she not take it out in something else if one were to make her deviate? So certain was that irrepressible deviltry to insist ever on its own.
    • 1897, W. E. B. Du Bois, "The Conservation of Races" in The Problem of the Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: The Essential Early Essays, edited by Nahum Dimitri Chandler, New York: Fordham University Press, 2015, p. 57, [1]
      They stand back to make room for every rascal and demagogue who chooses to cloak his selfish deviltry under the veil of race pride.
    • 1954, Alan W. Watts, Myth and Ritual in Christianity, New York: Grove Press, 1960, Chapter VII, p. 223,
      This is the law of "enantiodromia" whereby every extreme turns into its opposite, whereby Satanism is actually created by Puritanism and deviltry by sanctity.