|Origin:||deofol, from Greek diabolos|
1 also the DevilRRC
the most powerful evil spirit in some religions, especially in Christianity [= Satan]
an evil spirit [= demon]:
The villagers believed a devil had taken control of his body.
3 also talk of the devil British English spoken
used when someone you have just been talking about walks into the room where you are
used to talk about someone who you feel sorry for, who is lucky etc:
What on earth is wrong with the poor devil?
used to talk about a child or an older man who behaves badly, but who you like:
He's a naughty little devil.
I really miss the old devil.
6 British English spoken
used to persuade someone to do something they are not sure they should do:
Go on, be a devil, have another gin and tonic.
7 old-fashioned spoken
used to show that you are surprised or annoyed:
How the devil should I know what she's thinking?
8 old-fashioned spoken
a difficult or unpleasant time, job etc:
We had a devil of a job trying to get the carpet clean again.
9 old-fashioned spoken
used to tell someone rudely to go away or stop annoying you
10 old-fashioned spoken
to do something very fast or using a lot of force:
They rang the bell and ran like the devil.
used to say that it is better to deal with someone or something you know, even if you do not like them, than to deal with someone or something new that might be worse
in a difficult situation because there are only two choices you can make and both of them are unpleasant
used to say that everyone in a situation only cares about what happens to themselves and does not care about other people