devil Definition

  • 1(in Christian and Jewish belief) the supreme spirit of evil; Satan
  • 2a wicked or cruel person
  • 3used in exclamations of annoyance, anger, or surprise

Using devil: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "devil" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He was accused of being in league with the devil.

  • Example

    She's a real devil when she's angry.

  • Example

    Oh, devil! I forgot my keys again.

  • Example

    The devil is in the details.

devil Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for devil

Antonyms for devil

Idioms Using devil

  • in a difficult situation where there are two equally unpleasant choices


    If I tell the truth, I'll get in trouble. If I lie, I'll feel guilty. I'm caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

  • the devil is in the details

    small things in plans and schemes that are often overlooked can cause serious problems later on


    We need to go over this contract carefully - remember, the devil is in the details.

  • when someone you have just been talking about appears unexpectedly


    Speak of the devil - there's John now!

Phrases with devil

  • it is better to deal with someone or something familiar, even if they are not ideal, than take a risk with an unknown person or thing


    I'm not happy with my current job, but the devil I know is better than the devil I don't.

  • acknowledge someone's good qualities even though you dislike them overall


    I don't like him, but I have to give the devil his due - he's a hard worker.

  • play devil's advocate

    to argue against something for the sake of argument, rather than because you disagree with it


    I don't actually believe that, I'm just playing devil's advocate.

Origins of devil

from Old English 'dēofol', meaning 'evil spirit'


Summary: devil in Brief

The term 'devil' [ˈdevəl] has three main meanings: the supreme spirit of evil in Christian and Jewish belief, a wicked or cruel person, and an exclamation of annoyance, anger, or surprise. It is used in phrases like 'the devil you know,' which means it is better to deal with someone or something familiar, and idioms like 'between the devil and the deep blue sea,' which describes a difficult situation with two equally unpleasant choices.

How do native speakers use this expression?