Return to devil (definition)

Dev"il (?), n. [AS. deofol, deoful; akin to G. Teufel, Goth. diaba�xa3;lus; all fr. L. diabolus the devil, Gr. the devil, the slanderer, fr. to slander, calumniate, orig., to throw across; across + to throw, let fall, fall; cf. Skr. gal to fall. Cf. Diabolic.]


The Evil One; Satan, represented as the tempter and spiritual of mankind.

[Jesus] being forty days tempted of the devil. Luke iv. 2.

That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. Rev. xii. 9.


An evil spirit; a demon.

A dumb man possessed with a devil. Matt. ix. 32.


A very wicked person; hence, any great evil.

"That devil Glendower." "The devil drunkenness."


Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? John vi. 70.


An expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or, ironically, of negation.


The devil a puritan that he is, . . . but a timepleaser. Shak.

The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there. Pope.

5. Cookery

A dish, as a bone with the meat, broiled and excessively peppered; a grill with Cayenne pepper.

Men and women busy in baking, broiling, roasting oysters, and preparing devils on the gridiron. Sir W. Scott.

6. Manuf.

A machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton, etc.

Blue devils. See under Blue. -- Cartesian devil. See under Cartesian. -- Devil bird Zool., one of two or more South African drongo shrikes (Edolius retifer, and E. remifer), believed by the natives to be connected with sorcery. -- Devil may care, reckless, defiant of authority; -- used adjectively. Longfellow. -- Devil's apron Bot., the large kelp (Laminaria saccharina, and L. longicruris) of the Atlantic ocean, having a blackish, leathery expansion, shaped somewhat like an apron. -- Devil's coachhorse. Zool. (a) The black rove beetle (Ocypus olens). [Eng.] (b) A large, predacious, hemipterous insect (Prionotus cristatus); the wheel bug. [U.S.] -- Devil's darning-needle. Zool. See under Darn, v. t. -- Devil's fingers, Devil's hand Zool., the common British starfish (Asterias rubens); -- also applied to a sponge with stout branches. [Prov. Eng., Irish & Scot.] -- Devil's riding-horse Zool., the American mantis (Mantis Carolina). -- The Devil's tattoo, a drumming with the fingers or feet. "Jack played the Devil's tattoo on the door with his boot heels." F. Hardman (Blackw. Mag.). -- Devil worship, worship of the power of evil; -- still practiced by barbarians who believe that the good and evil forces of nature are of equal power. -- Printer's devil, the youngest apprentice in a printing office, who runs on errands, does dirty work (as washing the ink rollers and sweeping), etc. "Without fearing the printer's devil or the sheriff's officer." Macaulay. -- Tasmanian devil Zool., a very savage carnivorous marsupial of Tasmania (Dasyurus, ∨ Diabolus, ursinus). -- To play devil with, to molest extremely; to ruin. [Low]


© Webster 1913.

Dev"il (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deviled (?) or Devilled; p. pr. & vb. n. Deviling (?) or Devilling.]


To make like a devil; to invest with the character of a devil.


To grill with Cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.

A deviled leg of turkey. W. Irving.

deviled egg a hard-boiled egg, sliced into halves and with the yolk removed and replaced with a paste, usually made from the yolk and mayonnaise, seasoned with salt and/or spices such as paprika.


© Webster 1913.