What does devil mean?

Definitions for devil
ˈdɛv əldev·il

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word devil.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Satan, Old Nick, Devil, Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Tempter, Prince of Darknessnoun

    (Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions) chief spirit of evil and adversary of God; tempter of mankind; master of Hell

  2. devil, fiend, demon, daemon, daimonnoun

    an evil supernatural being

  3. devil, deuce, dickensnoun

    a word used in exclamations of confusion

    "what the devil"; "the deuce with it"; "the dickens you say"

  4. hellion, heller, devilnoun

    a rowdy or mischievous person (usually a young man)

    "he chased the young hellions out of his yard"

  5. monster, fiend, devil, demon, ogreverb

    a cruel wicked and inhuman person

  6. annoy, rag, get to, bother, get at, irritate, rile, nark, nettle, gravel, vex, chafe, devilverb

    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"

  7. devilverb

    coat or stuff with a spicy paste

    "devilled eggs"


  1. devilnoun

    A creature of hell.

  2. devilnoun

    (the devil or the Devil) The chief devil; Satan.

  3. devilnoun

    The bad part of the conscience; the opposite to the angel.

  4. devilnoun

    A wicked or naughty person, or one who harbors reckless, spirited energy, especially in a mischievous way; usually said of a young child.

  5. devilnoun

    A thing that is awkward or difficult to understand or do.

  6. devilnoun


  7. devilnoun

    A person, especially a man; used to express a particular opinion of him, usually in the phrases poor devil and lucky devil.

  8. devilnoun

    A dust devil.

  9. devilnoun

    An evil or erroneous entity.

  10. devilverb

    To annoy or bother; to bedevil.

  11. devilverb

    To work as a 'devil'; to work for a lawyer or writer without fee or recognition.

  12. devilverb

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

  13. devilverb

    To finely grind cooked ham or other meat with spices and condiments.

  14. devilverb

    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.

  15. devilnoun

    barren, unproductive and unused, as in devil strip.

  16. Devilnoun

    The chief devil; Satan.

  17. Etymology: From deofol, from διάβολος, also as "Satan" (in Jewish/Christian usage, translating Biblical Hebrew שטן, satán), from διαβάλλω, literally “to throw across”, from διά + βάλλω. 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, Low German düvel, German Teufel, Swedish djävul (older: djefvul, Old Swedish diævul, Old Norse djǫfull).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DEVILnoun

    Etymology: dioful, Saxon; diabolus, Latin.

    Are you a man?
    ———— Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
    Which might appal the devil. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    See thyself, devil:
    Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
    So horrid as in woman. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    A war of profit mitigates the evil;
    But to be tax’d, and beaten, is the devil. George Granville.

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

    The devil was well, the devil a monk was he. A Proverb.


  1. Devil

    A devil is the personification of evil as it is conceived in many and various cultures and religious traditions. It is seen as the objectification of a hostile and destructive force.It is difficult to specify a particular definition of any complexity that will cover all of the traditions, beyond that it is a manifestation of evil. It is meaningful to consider the devil through the lens of each of the cultures and religions that have the devil as part of their mythos.The history of this concept intertwines with theology, mythology, psychiatry, art and literature, maintaining a validity, and developing independently within each of the traditions. It occurs historically in many contexts and cultures, and is given many different names — Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles — and attributes: It is portrayed as blue, black, or red; It is portrayed as having horns on its head, and without horns, and so on. The idea of the devil has been taken seriously often, but not always, for example when devil figures are used in advertising and on candy wrappers.


  1. devil

    A devil is an evil supernatural being or spirit, often depicted with horns and a tail, that is typically regarded as a powerful, malevolent entity in various religions and cultures. In Christianity, the devil, also known as Satan, is considered a fallen angel who tempts humans to sin or reject God.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Devilnoun

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

  2. Devilnoun

    an evil spirit; a demon

  3. Devilnoun

    a very wicked person; hence, any great evil

  4. Devilnoun

    an expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or, ironically, of negation

  5. Devilnoun

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

  6. Devilnoun

    a machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton, etc

  7. Devilverb

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

  8. Devilverb

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

  9. Etymology: [AS. defol, deful; akin to G. eufel, Goth. diabalus; 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.]


  1. Devil

    The Devil is believed in many religions, myths and cultures to be a supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the enemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly, ranging from being an effective opposite force to the creator god, locked in an eons long struggle for human souls on what may seem even terms, to being a comical figure of fun or an abstract aspect of the individual human condition. While mainstream Judaism contains no overt concept of a devil, Christianity and Islam have variously regarded the Devil as a rebellious fallen angel or demon that tempts humans to sin, if not commit evil deeds himself. In these religions – particularly during periods of division or external threat – the Devil has assumed more of a dualistic status commonly associated with heretics, infidels, and other unbelievers. As such, the Devil is seen as an allegory that represents a crisis of faith, individualism, free will, wisdom and enlightenment. In mainstream Christianity, God and the Devil are usually portrayed as fighting over the souls of humans, with the Devil seeking to lure people away from God and into Hell. The Devil commands a force of evil spirits, commonly known as demons. The Hebrew Bible describes the Adversary as an angel who instigates tests upon humankind. Many other religions have a trickster or tempter figure that is similar to the Devil. Modern conceptions of the Devil include the concept that it symbolizes humans' own lower nature or sinfulness.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Devil

    dev′l, v.t. (cook.) to season highly and broil.—v.i. to perform another man's drudgery (esp. to devil for a barrister).

  2. Devil

    dev′l, n. the supreme spirit of evil, Satan: any evil spirit: a false god: a very wicked person: a fellow, as in 'Poor devil:' an expletive, in 'What the devil,' &c.—ns. Dev′ildom; Dev′iless; Dev′ilet; Dev′il-fish, a name for the fishing-frog or angler, for the giant-ray of the United States, and for other large and ugly fishes; Dev′il-in-the-bush, a garden flower, also called Love-in-a-mist.—adj. Dev′ilish, fiendish, malignant.—adv. (coll.) very: exceedingly.—adv. Dev′ilishly.—ns. Dev′ilism; Dev′ilkin.—adj. Dev′il-may-care, reckless, audacious.—ns. Dev′ilment; Dev′il-on-the-neck, an old instrument of torture; Dev′ilry; Dev′ilship; Dev′iltry; Dev′il-wor′ship, the worship of the devil, or of devils; Dev′il-wor′shipper.—Devil a bit, not at all; Devil of a mess, a very bad mess.—Devil's advocate, a name given to the Promoter of the Faith, an advocate at the papal court, whose duty it is to propose all reasonable objections against a person's claims to canonisation; Devil's bit, a popular name for scabious; Devil's books, playing-cards; Devil's coach-horse, a large dark-coloured beetle; Devil's dozen, thirteen (like baker's dozen); Devil's dung, a popular name for asafœtida; Devil's dust, shoddy made by a machine called the devil; Devil's own, a name given to the 88th Regiment in the Peninsular war, as also to the Inns of Court volunteers; Devil's snuff-box, the puff-ball, a kind of fungus; Devil's tattoo (see Tattoo); Devil to pay, serious trouble ahead—said to be from the difficulty of paying, or caulking, an awkward and inaccessible seam in a ship.—Cartesian devil (see Cartesian); Printer's devil, the youngest apprentice in a printing-office: a printer's errand-boy; Tasmanian devil, the ursine dasyure, a Tasmanian carnivore.—Play the devil with, to bring to utter ruin. [A.S. deóful, deófol—L. diabolus—Gr. diabolos, from diaballein, to throw across, to slander, from dia, across, and ballein, to throw; cf. Ger. teufel, Fr. diable, It. diavolo, Sp. diablo.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. devil

    A god who has been bounced for conduct unbecoming a gentleman.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. DEVIL

    An old rascal mentioned in the Bible, now reported engaged to Mary McLane.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. devil

    A sort of priming made by damping and bruising gunpowder.

Rap Dictionary

  1. devilnoun

    Satan, Lucifer

  2. devilnoun

    Anyone who is evil or acts evil (Crosses racial/class/creed barriers)

  3. devilnoun

    Your Enemies/Foes An enemy, used as a term for white people. Comparable to a term like the Man. The devil made me do it -- Paris (The Devil Made Me Do It). A better example comes from Da Lench Mob-- "Buck the devil, buck the devil, buck the devil BOOM"

Who Was Who?

  1. Devil

    See Old Nic.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'devil' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3675

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'devil' in Nouns Frequency: #1855

Anagrams for devil »

  1. lived

  2. divel

How to pronounce devil?

How to say devil in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of devil in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of devil in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of devil in a Sentence

  1. Rodrigo Duterte:

    I will sell my soul to the devil to look for money so that you can come home and live comfortably here.

  2. Pope Francis:

    I think the devil is punishing Mexico with great fury.

  3. Robert Burton:

    The devil is the author of confusion.

  4. Philip Augar:

    They are between the devil and the deep blue sea. They will want to see how the situation in China and Hong Kong settles down. They'll want to see how much the political heat in United Kingdom persists, but in the end.

  5. Alfred North Whitehead:

    There are no whole truths; all truths are half- truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for devil

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"devil." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/devil>.

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    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    • A. abduct
    • B. summon
    • C. affront
    • D. render

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