Definition of devil noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

     

    devil

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ˈdɛvl//
     
     
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  1. 1the Devil [singular] (in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions) the most powerful evil being synonym Satan He would sell his soul to the Devil.
  2. 2[countable] an evil spirit They believed she was possessed by devils.
  3. 3[countable] (informal) a person who behaves badly, especially a child a naughty little devil
  4. 4[countable, usually singular] (informal) used to talk about someone and to emphasize an opinion that you have of them I miss the old devil, now that he's gone. She's off to Greece for a month—lucky devil! James was a handsome devil and rich, too.
  5. Idioms
    better the devil you know (than the devil you don't)(saying)
     
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    used to say that it is easier and wiser to stay in a bad situation that you know and can deal with rather than change to a new situation that may be much worse
    between the devil and the deep blue sea
     
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    in a difficult situation where there are two equally unpleasant or unacceptable choices
    the devil(old-fashioned)
     
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    very difficult or unpleasant These berries are the devil to pick because they're so small.
    the devil looks after his own(saying)
     
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    bad people often seem to have good luck
    the devil makes work for idle hands(saying)
     
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    people who do not have enough to do often start to do wrong She blamed the crimes on the local jobless teenagers. “The devil makes work for idle hands,” she would say.
    a devil of a time(old-fashioned)
     
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    a very difficult or unpleasant time I've had a devil of a time finding you.
    the devil/hell to pay(informal)
     
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    a lot of trouble There'll be hell to pay when he finds out.
    like the devil(old-fashioned)(informal)
     
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    very hard, fast, etc. We ran like the devil.
    speak/talk of the devil(informal)
     
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    people say speak/talk of the devil when someone they have been talking about appears unexpectedly Well, speak of the devil—here's Alice now!
    what, where, who, why, etc. the devil…(old-fashioned)
     
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    used in questions to show that you are annoyed or surprised What the devil do you think you're doing?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: devil