What does devious mean?

Definitions for devious
ˈdi vi əsde·vi·ous

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. devious, obliqueadjective

    indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; misleading

    "used devious means to achieve success"; "gave oblique answers to direct questions"; "oblique political maneuvers"

  2. devious, shiftyadjective

    characterized by insincerity or deceit; evasive

    "a devious character"; "shifty eyes"

  3. devious, circuitous, roundaboutadjective

    deviating from a straight course

    "a scenic but devious route"; "a long and circuitous journey by train and boat"; "a roundabout route avoided rush-hour traffic"


  1. deviousadjective

    Deviating; not straightforward or honest, not frank; not standard.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Deviousadjective

    Etymology: devius, Latin.

    Creusa kept behind: by choice we stray
    Through ev’ry dark and ev’ry devious way. John Dryden, Æn.

    In this minute devious subject I have been necessitated to explain myself in more words, than to some few may seem needful. William Holder, Elements of Speech.

    Every muse,
    And every blooming pleasure, wait without
    To bless the wildly devious morning walk. James Thomson, Summer.

    One devious step, at first setting out, frequently leads a person into a wilderness of doubt and error. Clarissa.


  1. devious

    Devious refers to behaving or acting in a way that is not straightforward or direct, typically to achieve something in a dishonest or manipulative manner. It can also describe a path or route that is not straight or direct, often taking a longer, winding route.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Deviousadjective

    out of a straight line; winding; varying from directness; as, a devious path or way

  2. Deviousadjective

    going out of the right or common course; going astray; erring; wandering; as, a devious step

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Devious

    dē′vi-us, adj. from or out of the way: roundabout: erring.—adv. Dē′viously.—n. Dē′viousness. [L. devius. See Deviate.]

Editors Contribution

  1. devious

    Devious people or plans and methods are dishonest, often in a complicated way, but often also clever and successful;using indirect ways to get what you want, esp. without showing your real purpose;WANDERING, ROUNDABOUT;moving without a fixed course : ERRANT, OUT-OF-THE-WAY, REMOTE,: deviating from a right, accepted, or common course;sly ,scheming,calculating,tricky,crooked(informal),indirect,treacherous,dishonest,wily,insidious,evasive,deceitful,insincere,double-dealing,Slimy,rambling, tortuous, deviating,excursive,calculating,surreptitious,not straightforward : CUNNING, DECEPTIVE;artful, beguiling, cagey (also cagy), crafty,cute, designing, dodgy [chiefly British],foxy,guileful,shrewd, slick,subtle;dishonest and clever,Marked by treachery or deceit:disingenuous, duplicitous,lubricious,shifty,sneaky, underhand, underhanded.Not taking a direct or straight line or course:anfractuous, circuitous, circular,oblique.Without a fixed or regular course:erratic,stray.

    Submitted by anonymous on June 25, 2020  

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of devious in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of devious in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of devious in a Sentence

  1. Jon Voight:

    There are a lot of conservatives in Hollywood, and they’re not very welcome, Voight told the December issue of Cigar Afficiando. It’s a big surprise that we’ve come to this juncture where people with patriotic thoughts could not find a home in Hollywood. i think the word ‘progressive’ is a very devious term. It was created as a substitute for ‘communist,’ he said. What they propose is the reverse of progress. It’s some that that does taste of communism and Karl Marx’s pernicious philosophy.

  2. Alexandra Filindra:

    They are part of an ideological system, [ and believe ] that the other side -- in this case, the Democrats -- are devious and intent on taking political rights away and imposing a socialistic tyranny, information that conflicts with this narrative is dismissed.

  3. Lewis Mumford:

    Unable to create a meaningful life for itself, the personality takes its own revenge: from the lower depths comes a regressive form of spontaneity: raw animality forms a counterpoise to the meaningless stimuli and the vicarious life to which the ordinary man is conditioned. Getting spiritual nourishment from this chaos of events, sensations, and devious interpretations is the equivalent of trying to pick through a garbage pile for food.

  4. Martin McGuinness:

    We were dealing with very devious people who had the capability to destroy me as a republican.

  5. Maurice Blackburn lawyer Elizabeth O'Shea:

    Uber sells the idea that it does things differently, but in reality and as we allege, this has meant operating unlawfully, using devious programs like' Greyball,'.

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Translations for devious

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"devious." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 28 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/devious>.

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    steering mechanism for a vessel; a mechanical device by which a vessel is steered
    A vigorish
    B leaven
    C helm
    D ternion

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