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Inflections of ' ' ( devil ): ( v ⇒ conjugate) When both "l" and "ll" forms exist, spellings with a double "l" are correct, but rare, in US English, while those with a single "l" are not correct in UK English. devils v 3rd person singular devilling v pres p verb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing." (Mainly UK) deviling v pres p verb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing." (US) devilled v past verb, past simple: Past tense--for example, "He saw the man." "She laughed." (Mainly UK) deviled v past verb, past simple: Past tense--for example, "He saw the man." "She laughed." (US) devilled v past p verb, past participle: Verb form used descriptively or to form verbs--for example, "the locked door," "The door has been locked." (Mainly UK) deviled v past p verb, past participle: Verb form used descriptively or to form verbs--for example, "the locked door," "The door has been locked." (US)
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020 dev•il /ˈdɛvəl/
USA pronunciation n. [ countable ]
the supreme spirit of evil; [proper noun; the + ~; sometimes: Devil ] Satan: The preacher warned that the Devil would take their souls. an evil spirit that is an enemy of God.
a wicked, cruel person: The dictator was a devil to his people.
a clever or mischievous person: Those little devils poured a bucket of water on my head.
an unlucky person: That poor devil never knew what hit him.
the devil, (used to show mild anger, amazement, or emotion in questions): What the devil do you mean? Idioms
Idioms a or the devil of a, extremely bad, terrible, difficult, etc.: [before a noun ] We had the devil of a time changing the spark plugs. Idioms the devil to pay, trouble to be faced later; repercussions: There'll be the devil to pay for your misbehavior. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020 dev•il
(dev ′əl), USA pronunciation n., v., -iled, -il•ing or ( esp. Brit.) -illed, -il•ling. n.
( sometimes cap.) the supreme spirit of evil; Satan. a subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God, and having power to afflict humans both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption.
an atrociously wicked, cruel, or ill-tempered person.
a person who is very clever, energetic, reckless, or mischievous.
a person, usually one in unfortunate or pitiable circumstances: The poor devil kept losing jobs through no fault of his own.
PrintingAlso called printer's devil. a young worker below the level of apprentice in a printing office.
Mechanical Engineeringany of various mechanical devices, as a machine for tearing rags, a machine for manufacturing wooden screws, etc.
Nautical, Naval Terms(in deck or hull planking) any of various seams difficult to caulk because of form or position.
Metallurgyany of various portable furnaces or braziers used in construction and foundry work.
Idioms between the devil and the deep (blue) sea, between two undesirable alternatives; in an unpleasant dilemma.
Idioms devil of a, extremely difficult or annoying; hellish: I had a devil of a time getting home through the snow.
Idioms give the devil his due, to give deserved credit even to a person one dislikes: To give the devil his due, you must admit that she is an excellent psychologist.
Idioms go to the devil:
to fail completely; lose all hope or chance of succeeding.
to become depraved. (an expletive expressing annoyance, disgust, impatience, etc.)
Idioms let the devil take the hindmost, to leave the least able or fortunate persons to suffer adverse consequences; leave behind or to one's fate: They ran from the pursuing mob and let the devil take the hindmost.
Idioms play the devil with, to ruin completely; spoil: The financial crisis played the devil with our investment plans.
Idioms raise the devil:
to cause a commotion or disturbance.
to celebrate wildly; revel. to make an emphatic protest or take drastic measures.
the devil, (used as an emphatic expletive or mild oath to express disgust, anger, astonishment, negation, etc.): What the devil do you mean by that?
Idioms the devil to pay, trouble to be faced; mischief in the offing: If conditions don't improve, there will be the devil to pay. v.t.
to annoy; harass; pester: to devil Mom and Dad for a new car.
to tear (rags, cloth, etc.) with a devil. Food to prepare (food, usually minced) with hot or savory seasoning: [Cookery. ] to devil eggs.
Greek diábolos Satan (Septuagint, NT), literally, slanderer (noun, nominal), slanderous (adjective, adjectival), verbid of diabállein to assault someone's character, literally, to throw across, equivalent. to dia- dia- + bállein to throw Late Latin diabolus Middle English devel, Old English dēofol bef. 900
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
devil / ˈdɛv/ əl n ( often capital) the chief spirit of evil and enemy of God, often represented as the ruler of hell and often depicted as a human figure with horns, cloven hoofs, and tail one of the subordinate evil spirits of traditional Jewish and Christian belief a person or animal regarded as cruel, wicked, or ill-natured a person or animal regarded as unfortunate or wretched a person or animal regarded as clever, daring, mischievous, or energetic informal something difficult or annoying the opposite of truth; an error, lie, or false belief in sin, sickness, and death (in Malaysia) a ghost a portable furnace or brazier, esp one used in road-making or one used by plumbers any of various mechanical devices, usually with teeth, such as a machine for making wooden screws or a rag-tearing machine See printer's devil (in England) a junior barrister who does work for another in order to gain experience, usually for a half fee a small whirlwind in arid areas that raises dust or sand in a column between the devil and the deep blue sea ⇒ between equally undesirable alternatives devil of ⇒ informal (intensifier): a devil of a fine horse give the devil his due ⇒ to acknowledge the talent or the success of an opponent or unpleasant person go to the devil ⇒ to fail or become dissipated ( interjection) used to express annoyance with the person causing it talk of the devil!, speak of the devil! ⇒ ( interjection) used when an absent person who has been the subject of conversation appears the devil! ⇒ ( ) intensifier: used in such phrases as what the devil, where the devil, etc an exclamation of anger, surprise, disgust, etc the devil take the hindmost, let the devil take the hindmost ⇒ look after oneself and leave others to their fate the devil to pay ⇒ problems or trouble to be faced as a consequence of an action vb ( ) ( -ils, -illing, -illed ) US -ils, -iling, -iled ( transitive) to prepare (esp meat, poultry, or fish) by coating with a highly flavoured spiced paste or mixture of condiments before cooking ( transitive) to tear (rags) with a devil ( intransitive) to serve as a printer's devil ( intransitive) chiefly Brit to do hackwork, esp for a lawyer or author; perform arduous tasks, often without pay or recognition of one's services ( transitive) US informal to harass, vex, torment, etc Etymology: Old English dēofol, from Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos enemy, accuser, slanderer, from diaballein, literally: to throw across, hence, to slander
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