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devil

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English

Etymology

From Old English dēofol, from Ancient Greek διάβολος (diabolos), accuser, slanderer), also as "Satan" (in Jewish/Christian usage, translating Biblical Hebrew שטן), from διαβάλλειν ‘to slander’, literally ‘to throw across’, from διά ‘through, across’ + βάλλειν ‘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 Dutch duivel, German Teufel, Swedish djävul (older: djefvul).

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
devil

Plural
{{{1}}}

devil ({{{1}}})
  1. (theology) A creature of hell.
  2. (theology) (the devil or the Devil) The chief devil; Satan.
  3. The bad part of the conscience; the opposite to the angel.
    • The devil in me wants to let him suffer.
  4. A wicked or naughty person, or one who harbors reckless, spirited energy, especially in a mischievous way; usually said of a young child.
    • Those two kids can really be little devils when they get into a toy store.
  5. A thing that is awkward or difficult to understand or do.
    • That math problem was a devil.
  6. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Hell.
    • What in the devil is that?
    • She is having a devil of a time fixing it.
    • He’ll have a devil of a fate if he doesn’t get it done on time.
    • You can go to the devil for all I care.
  7. A person, especially a man; used to express a particular opinion of him, usually in the phrases poor devil and lucky devil.
  8. A dust devil.
  9. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) An evil or erroneous entity.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

Infinitive
to devil

Third person singular
devils

Simple past
deviled or devilled

Past participle
-

Present participle
deviling or devilling

to devil (third-person singular simple present devils, present participle deviling or devilling, simple past and past participle deviled or devilled)
  1. To annoy or bother; to bedevil.
  2. To grill with cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.
  3. To finely grind cooked ham or other meat with spices and condiments.
  4. To prepare a sidedish of shelled halved boiled eggs to whose extracted yokes 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.

Usage notes

  • UK usage doubles the l in the inflected forms "devilled" and "devilling"; US usage generally does not.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Elsewhere on the web

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