Language: Old English
Origin: deofol, from Greek diabolos


Related topics: Occult

the devil

also the DevilRRC the most powerful evil spirit in some religions, especially in Christianity [= Satan]
2 [countable]RO an evil spirit [= demon]:
The villagers believed a devil had taken control of his body.

speak of the devil

also talk of the devil British English spoken used when someone you have just been talking about walks into the room where you are

poor/lucky/handsome etc devil

spoken used to talk about someone who you feel sorry for, who is lucky etc:
What on earth is wrong with the poor devil?

little/old devil

spoken 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.

be a devil

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.

what/who/why etc the devil?

old-fashioned spoken used to show that you are surprised or annoyed:
How the devil should I know what she's thinking?

a devil of a time/job etc

old-fashioned spoken a difficult or unpleasant time, job etc:
We had a devil of a job trying to get the carpet clean again.

go to the devil!

old-fashioned spoken used to tell someone rudely to go away or stop annoying you

do something like the devil

old-fashioned spoken to do something very fast or using a lot of force:
They rang the bell and ran like the devil.

better the devil you know (than the devil you don't)

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

between the devil and the deep blue sea

in a difficult situation because there are only two choices you can make and both of them are unpleasant

... and the devil take the hindmost

used to say that everyone in a situation only cares about what happens to themselves and does not care about other people

Dictionary results for "devil"
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