Definition of device noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪˈvaɪs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈvaɪs//
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  1. 1  an object or a piece of equipment that has been designed to do a particular job a water-saving device devices such as tablet PCs and mobile phones This device enables deaf people to communicate by typing messages instead of speaking. electrical labour-saving devices around the home See related entries: Devices
  2. 2a bomb or weapon that will explode A powerful device exploded outside the station. the world’s first atomic device
  3. 3a method of doing something that produces a particular result or effect Sending advertising by email is very successful as a marketing device.
  4. 4a plan or trick that is used to get something that somebody wants The report was a device used to hide rather than reveal problems.
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French devis, based on Latin divis- ‘divided’, from the verb dividere. The original sense was ‘desire or intention’, found now only in leave someone to their own devices (which has become associated with sense (3)).Extra examples All new cars are now fitted with these safety devices. An incendiary device exploded in the store, setting fire to furniture. He measured the room using an ingenious new electronic device. Now connect the device to your computer. Police found several bugging devices in the room. The device consists of a large wheel mounted on a metal post. The device uses a transmitter that connects to your computer. The device worked exactly as I’d hoped. a tiny device designed to trace telephone calls a useful device for checking electrical circuits improvised explosive devices A package containing an incendiary device was found on Tuesday night. Aid workers have to use whatever devices are available for making sure help gets to those most in need. Direct mailing is extremely successful as a marketing device. It was the world’s first atomic device. The twentieth century saw the introduction of labour-saving devices around the home. They employ several successful management devices. This device can be seem as somewhat dishonest. This device enables pilots to navigate with pinpoint accuracy. This was originally intended as a device for making sure taxes were paid on time. We use a range of devices for testing children’s numerical ability.Idioms
    leave somebody to their own devices
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    to leave somebody alone to do as they wish, and not tell them what to do
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: device