devil definition, devil meaning | English dictionary

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1      (Theol)   often cap   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  
2      (Theol)   one of the subordinate evil spirits of traditional Jewish and Christian belief  
3    a person or animal regarded as cruel, wicked, or ill-natured  
4    a person or animal regarded as unfortunate or wretched  
that poor devil was ill for months     
5    a person or animal regarded as clever, daring, mischievous, or energetic  
6    Informal   something difficult or annoying  
7      (Christian Science)   the opposite of truth; an error, lie, or false belief in sin, sickness, and death  
8    (in Malaysia) a ghost  
9    a portable furnace or brazier, esp. one used in road-making or one used by plumbers  
   Compare       salamander       7  
10    any of various mechanical devices, such as a machine for making wooden screws or a rag-tearing machine  
11       See       printer's devil  
12      (Law)   (in England) a junior barrister who does work for another in order to gain experience, usually for a half fee  
13      (Meteorol)   a small whirlwind in arid areas that raises dust or sand in a column  
14    between the devil and the deep blue sea   between equally undesirable alternatives  
15    devil of  
Informal   (intensifier)  
a devil of a fine horse     
16    give the devil his due   to acknowledge the talent or the success of an opponent or unpleasant person  
17    go to the devil  
a    to fail or become dissipated  
b    interj   used to express annoyance with the person causing it  
18    like the devil   with great speed, determination, etc.  
19    play the devil with  
Informal   to make much worse; upset considerably  
the damp plays the devil with my rheumatism     
20    raise the devil  
a    to cause a commotion  
b    to make a great protest  
21    talk (or speak) of the devil!   interj   used when an absent person who has been the subject of conversation appears  
22    the devil!   intensifier:  
a    used in such phrases as what the devil, where the devil, etc.  
b    an exclamation of anger, surprise, disgust, etc.  
23    the devil's own   a very difficult or problematic (thing)  
24    (let) the devil take the hindmost   look after oneself and leave others to their fate  
25    the devil to pay   problems or trouble to be faced as a consequence of an action  
26    the very devil   something very difficult or awkward  
      vb   , -ils, -illing, -illed  
     (U.S.)   , -ils, -iling, -iled  
27    tr   to prepare (esp. meat, poultry, or fish) by coating with a highly flavoured spiced paste or mixture of condiments before cooking  
28    tr   to tear (rags) with a devil  
29    intr   to serve as a printer's devil  
30    intr     (Chiefly Brit)   to do hackwork, esp. for a lawyer or author; perform arduous tasks, often without pay or recognition of one's services  
31    tr     (U.S.)  
informal   to harass, vex, torment, etc.  
     (Old English deofol, from Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos enemy, accuser, slanderer, from diaballein, literally: to throw across, hence, to slander)  

      adj   careless or reckless; happy-go-lucky  
a devil-may-care attitude     
devil's advocate  
1    a person who advocates an opposing or unpopular view, often for the sake of argument  
2      (R.C. Church)   the official appointed to put the case against the beatification or canonization of a candidate,   (Technical name)    promotor fidei  
     (translation of New Latin advocatus diaboli)  
devil's bit  
      n   short for devil's bit scabious (see scabious2 (sense 3))  
devil's coach-horse  
      n   a large black rove beetle, Ocypus olens, with large jaws and ferocious habits  
devil's darning needle  
      n      a popular name for a       dragonfly  
devil's food cake  
      n     (Chiefly U.S. and Canadian)   a rich chocolate cake  
Devil's Island  
      n   one of the three Safety Islands, off the coast of French Guiana: formerly a leper colony, then a French penal colony from 1895 until 1938. Area: less than 2 sq. km (1 sq. mile),   (French name)    Île du Diable  
dust devil  
      n   a strong miniature whirlwind that whips up dust, litter, leaves, etc., into the air  
mountain devil  
      n      another name for       moloch  
printer's devil  
      n   an apprentice or errand boy in a printing establishment  
snow devil  
      n     (Canadian)   a whirling column of snow  
Tasmanian devil  
      n   a small ferocious carnivorous marsupial, Sarcophilus harrisi, of Tasmania, having black fur with pale markings, strong jaws, and short legs: family Dasyuridae,   (Also called)    ursine dasyure  
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus  


1      (sometimes capital)    Abbadon, Apollyon, archfiend, Beelzebub, Belial, Clootie     (Scot.)   deil     (Scot.)   demon, Deuce, Evil One, fiend, Foul Fiend, Lord of the Flies, Lucifer, Mephisto, Mephistopheles, Old Gentleman     (informal)   Old Harry     (informal)   Old Hornie     (informal)   Old Nick     (informal)   Old One, Old Scratch     (informal)   Prince of Darkness, Satan, Tempter, Wicked One  
2    beast, brute, demon, fiend, ghoul, monster, ogre, rogue, savage, terror, villain  
3    imp, monkey     (informal)   pickle     (Brit. informal)   rascal, rogue, scamp, scoundrel  
4    beggar, creature, thing, unfortunate, wretch  
5    demon, enthusiast, fiend, go-getter     (informal)  

careless, casual, easy-going, flippant, happy-go-lucky, heedless, insouciant, nonchalant, reckless, swaggering, swashbuckling, unconcerned  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

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