Definition of devilish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɛv(ə)lɪʃ/


1Like or appropriate to a devil in evil and cruelty: devilish tortures
More example sentences
  • It also kept the idea of evil as a devilish personal force prowling around ready to get into you.
  • The makeup for the Djinn character is creepy and evil, like some devilish creature from an R-rated version of Star Wars.
  • The forces of evil have produced a devilish tool whereby spam can be sent to thousands of Windows users in minutes, in the guise of system alerts.
wicked, evil, accursed, sinful, iniquitous, nefarious, vile, foul, abominable, unspeakable, loathsome, monstrous, atrocious, heinous, hideous, odious, horrible, horrifying, shocking, appalling, dreadful, awful, terrible, ghastly, abhorrent, despicable, damnable, villainous, shameful, depraved, perverted, ungodly, dark, black, black-hearted, immoral, amoral;
vicious, cruel, savage, brutish, bestial, barbaric, barbarous
rare cacodemonic, egregious, flagitious, facinorous
1.1Mischievous and rakish: a wide, devilish grin
More example sentences
  • A figure clad in a black leather jacket called out from the next table chuckled and turned towards the two girls, revealing an devilish, cheeky grin.
  • She has a very cheeky, devilish grin and I wanted her to look like my friend Lauran - I don't know if I managed it but that's certainly who she's based on.
  • The apparent smile on my face, despite my weary state, spoke of signs of contentment, even a return to that mischievous and devilish state of mind.
1.2Very difficult to deal with or use: it turned out to be a devilish job
More example sentences
  • It's a notoriously devilish problem, but from an information flow point of view all of the bodies are part of one object, albeit a generally inscrutable one.
  • The answer he supplied was fairly accurate: swirling wind and devilish opponent, both of whom made life extremely difficult.
  • It seems that devilish productivity is wreaking havoc with jobs both at home and abroad.
difficult, tricky, ticklish, troublesome, thorny, awkward, problematic, problem, impossible, messy
informal a bitch of a, the (very) devil of a
archaic kittle


[as submodifier] informal, dated
Very; extremely: a devilish clever chap
More example sentences
  • Willetts does a noted comic turn reeling off the complexities of Gordon Brown's devilish clever schemes.
  • There seems to be a wild idea revolving around in the heart of government that we were part a devilish clever plot to blacken them.
  • Dundee's skills were evident as languid Sara turned the Aberdeen defence, Caballero played devilish deft passes and the diminutive white booted Novo proved a nagging menace.



Pronunciation: /ˈdɛv(ə)lɪʃnəs/
Example sentences
  • She was far from perfection and innocence, yet far from devilishness and wrong.
  • His character never lost his inherent devilishness though, and he'd worn that wicked smile through the entire movie.
  • His deranged dare devilishness has earned him a wealth of fans and now, the opportunity to kick Paul Hogan in his Hollywood daks.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: devil|ish

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