- 1A thing made or adapted for a particular purpose, especially a piece of mechanical or electronic equipment: a measuring deviceMore example sentences
- The aim of nanotechnology is to manipulate molecules atom by atom, treating them like mechanical devices with gears, wheels, levers, hooks, pivots, locks and keys.
- Such articles include electronic devices, dust handling equipment and notebook computer enclosures.
- Radioactivity cannot be felt, smelled, seen, or heard directly and is detectable only with the aid of mechanical or electronic devices.
- 1.1A bomb or other explosive weapon: an incendiary deviceMore example sentences
- Bucher considered stocking the ship with Thermite, an incendiary device that is very difficult to extinguish.
- Their priority is an end to air strikes, tank attacks, artillery barrages, sniping, car bombs and roadside explosive devices.
- The 1949 Soviet explosion of a nuclear device reinforced the image of an external threat.
- 1.2 • archaic The design or look of something: works of strange deviceMore example sentences
- Her cave was stored with scrolls of strange device.
- On its surface is a raised cross of beautiful device, by the side of whose shaft is a knight's sword.
- 2A plan, scheme, or trick with a particular aim: writing a public letter is a traditional device for signaling dissentMore example sentences
- In the absence of other methods and devices, an Australian Bill of Rights may have been useful.
- Anarchists don't salute anyone and they wouldn't think to use it as a mnemonic device, but their method is the same.
- Doris and Nana appear out of nowhere and act as little more than clumsy devices to move the plot along and reveal the truth behind mysteries set up elsewhere.
- 2.1A turn of phrase intended to produce a particular effect in speech or a literary work: a rhetorical deviceMore example sentences
- Obviously, this a rhetorical device: a trope or some sort of shorthand for the linking of theory to practice.
- These ten poems are not joined together by a narrative structure, or recurring rhetorical devices intended to produce a unified group of poems.
- In a work of literature Stewart's lies would constitute synecdoche, the rhetorical device in which a part stands for the whole.
- 3A drawing or design: the decorative device on the invitationsMore example sentences
- He had a taste for popular decorative devices, such as fruit, flowers, and brocades, which resulted in a curious and engaging blend of naivety and sophistication.
- The superior canines of the adult bear were extracted, probably for use as decorative devices.
- 3.1An emblematic or heraldic design: their shields bear the device of the Blazing SunMore example sentences
- If a hallmark on a spoon is so worn you can't make it out, which side bears the heraldic device could give a clue to its date.
- He chose the Corbinian Bear as an heraldic device for his papal coat of arms.
- In elite society, aristocratic funerary sculpture quickly replaced religious imagery with heraldic and symbolic devices.
leave someone to their own devices
- Leave someone to do as they wish without supervision.More example sentences
- Bemused families said they were left to their own devices while Army personnel began controlled explosions.
- Members of the community say they have been left to their own devices by law enforcement officials for many years, and are struggling between an instinctive resentment of police and a burgeoning sense of the size of the problem.
- Nature magically stimulates children's imaginations; their level of inventiveness and ingenuity seems to explode when they are left to their own devices.
Middle 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 a person to his or her own devices (which has become associated with sense 2).