dev·il /ˈdɛvḷ ||ˈdɪ-/
1. 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.
2. An evil spirit; a demon.
A dumb man possessed with a devil. --Matt. ix. 32.
3. 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.
4. An expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or, ironically, of negation. [Low]
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 Edolius 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 Laminaria 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 ursinus syn. Diabolus ursinus).
To play devil with, to molest extremely; to ruin. [Low]
dev·il v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deviled or Devilled; p. pr. & vb. n. Deviling or Devilling.]
1. To make like a devil; to invest with the character of a devil.
2. To grill with Cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as with pepper.
A deviled leg of turkey. --W. Irving.
n 1: (Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions) chief spirit of evil
and adversary of God; tempter of mankind; master of Hell
[syn: Satan, Old Nick, the Devil, Lucifer, Beelzebub,
the Tempter, Prince of Darkness]
2: one of the evil spirits of traditional Jewish and Christian
belief [syn: fiend, demon, daemon, daimon]
3: a word used in exclamations of confusion; "what the devil";
"the deuce with it"; "the dickens you say" [syn: deuce,
4: a rowdy or mischievous person (usually a young man); "he
chased the young hellions out of his yard" [syn: hellion,
5: a cruel wicked and inhuman person [syn: monster, fiend,
v 1: cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor
irritations; "Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really
bothers me"; "It irritates me that she never closes the
door after she leaves" [syn: annoy, rag, get to, bother,
get at, irritate, rile, nark, nettle, gravel,
2: coat or stuff with a spicy paste; "devilled eggs"
(Gr. diabolos), a slanderer, the arch-enemy of man's spiritual
interest (Job 1:6; Rev. 2:10; Zech. 3:1). He is called also "the
accuser of the brethen" (Rev. 12:10).
In Lev. 17:7 the word "devil" is the translation of the Hebrew
_sair_, meaning a "goat" or "satyr" (Isa. 13:21; 34:14),
alluding to the wood-daemons, the objects of idolatrous worship
among the heathen.
In Deut. 32:17 and Ps. 106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew
_shed_, meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a
"demon," as the word is rendered in the Revised Version.
In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the "casting out of
devils" a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of
our Lord there were frequent cases of demoniacal possession
(Matt. 12:25-30; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 4:35; 10:18, etc.).