devil


devil
/dev"euhl/, n., v., deviled, deviling or (esp. Brit.) devilled, devilling.
n.
1. Theol.
a. (sometimes cap.) the supreme spirit of evil; Satan.
b. a subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God, and having power to afflict humans both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption.
2. an atrociously wicked, cruel, or ill-tempered person.
3. a person who is very clever, energetic, reckless, or mischievous.
4. a person, usually one in unfortunate or pitiable circumstances: The poor devil kept losing jobs through no fault of his own.
5. Also called printer's devil. Print. a young worker below the level of apprentice in a printing office.
6. any of various mechanical devices, as a machine for tearing rags, a machine for manufacturing wooden screws, etc.
7. Naut. (in deck or hull planking) any of various seams difficult to caulk because of form or position.
8. any of various portable furnaces or braziers used in construction and foundry work.
9. between the devil and the deep (blue) sea, between two undesirable alternatives; in an unpleasant dilemma.
10. devil of a, extremely difficult or annoying; hellish: I had a devil of a time getting home through the snow.
11. give the devil his due, to give deserved credit even to a person one dislikes: To give the devil his due, you must admit that she is an excellent psychologist.
12. go to the devil,
a. to fail completely; lose all hope or chance of succeeding.
b. to become depraved.
c. (an expletive expressing annoyance, disgust, impatience, etc.)
13. let the devil take the hindmost, to leave the least able or fortunate persons to suffer adverse consequences; leave behind or to one's fate: They ran from the pursuing mob and let the devil take the hindmost.
14. play the devil with, to ruin completely; spoil: The financial crisis played the devil with our investment plans.
15. raise the devil,
a. to cause a commotion or disturbance.
b. to celebrate wildly; revel.
c. to make an emphatic protest or take drastic measures.
16. the devil, (used as an emphatic expletive or mild oath to express disgust, anger, astonishment, negation, etc.): What the devil do you mean by that?
17. the devil to pay, trouble to be faced; mischief in the offing: If conditions don't improve, there will be the devil to pay.
v.t.
18. to annoy; harass; pester: to devil Mom and Dad for a new car.
19. to tear (rags, cloth, etc.) with a devil.
20. Cookery. to prepare (food, usually minced) with hot or savory seasoning: to devil eggs.
[bef. 900; ME devel, OE deofol < LL diabolus < Gk diábolos Satan (Septuagint, NT), lit., slanderer (n.), slanderous (adj.), verbid of diabállein to assault someone's character, lit., to throw across, equiv. to dia- DIA- + bállein to throw]

* * *

I
Spirit or power of evil.

Though sometimes used to refer to demons, the term more often designates the prince of evil spirits. In the Bible the Devil is known as Satan, Beelzebub, and Lucifer. In Judaism, Satan emerges as subservient to God and as an adversary and accuser of Job and other humans. In postbiblical traditions he emerges as the tempter of humankind and is responsible for all the sins in the Bible. Christian theology holds that his main task is to tempt humans to reject the way of life and redemption in favour of sin and death. In the Qurʾān the Devil is frequently associated with Iblīs; he tempts the unfaithful but not the true believer. In Hinduism there is no principal devil, although there are a variety of demons or devilish beings. Buddhists also recognize the existence of many demons, and Mara, the Buddha's opponent and tempter, is sometimes identified as a specific devil.
II
(as used in expressions)

* * *

      (from Greek diabolos, “slanderer,” or “accuser”), the spirit or power of evil. Though sometimes used for minor demonic spirits, the word devil generally refers to the prince of evil spirits and as such takes various forms in the religions of the world.

      In the monotheistic Western religions, the devil is viewed as a fallen angel who in pride has tried to usurp the position of the one and only God. In Judaism, and later Christianity, the devil was known as Satan. In the Old Testament, Satan is viewed as the prosecutor of Yahweh's court, as in Job, chapters 1 and 2, but he is not regarded as an adversary of God. In postbiblical Judaism and in Christianity, however, Satan became known as the “prince of devils” and assumed various names: Beelzebub (“Lord of Flies”) in Matthew 12:24–27, often cited as Beelzebul (“Lord of Dung”), and Lucifer (the fallen angel of Light).

      In Christian theology the devil's main task is that of tempting man to reject the way of life and redemption and to accept the way of death and destruction. The leader of the angels who have fallen from heaven because of pride, Satan has as his main adversary in Christian thought, legend, and iconography the archangel Michael, leader of God's heavenly hosts.

      Islāmic (Islām) theology is rich in references to Iblīs, the personal name of the devil, who is also known as ash-Shayṭān (“The Demon”) and ʿaduw Allah (“Enemy of God”). In the Qurʾān, Iblīs first appears in the story of the creation of the world. He alone of the angels refuses God's order to bow before Adam, the first man. He is then cursed by God; his punishment is to come on the Day of Judgment, but until then he is empowered to tempt the unfaithful (but not true believers). Iblīs next appears as the tempter of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In Islāmic theology, Iblīs is described as an angel, a jinn (spiritual creature capable of good or evil), or an angel who was the leader of the jinni. The questions of his sins of pride and disobedience are especially important in the Ṣūfī traditions, in which he is sometimes presented as a true monotheist who would bow only to God.

      The devil was also an important figure in certain syncretic religions. In Gnosticism the devil was often called the Demiurge (the Creator) and in Manichaeism the Prince of Darkness, as well as other names.

      The devil, as the great power of evil, has been much depicted in religious and secular literature and art. At various intervals in history, devil worship becomes significant for certain individuals dissatisfied with existing religious institutions, and exorcism is often consequently reinstated by these institutions.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Devil — • The name commonly given to the fallen angels, who are also known as demons. With the article (ho) it denotes Lucifer, their chief, as in Matthew 25:41, the Devil and his angels Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Devil     Devil …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • devil — ► NOUN 1) (the Devil) (in Christian and Jewish belief) the supreme spirit of evil. 2) an evil spirit; a demon. 3) a very wicked or cruel person. 4) a mischievously clever or self willed person. 5) informal a person with specified characteristics …   English terms dictionary

  • Devil — Dev il, n. [AS. de[ o]fol, de[ o]ful; akin to G. ?eufel, Goth. diaba[ u]lus; all fr. L. diabolus the devil, Gr. ? the devil, the slanderer, fr. ? to slander, calumniate, orig., to throw across; ? across + ? to throw, let fall, fall; cf. Skr. gal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • devil — [dev′əl] n. [ME devel < OE deofol < LL(Ec) diabolus < Gr diabolos, slanderous (in LXX, Satan; in N.T., devil) < diaballein, to slander, lit., throw across < dia , across + ballein, to throw: see BALL2] 1. Theol. a) [often D ] the… …   English World dictionary

  • devil — O.E. deofol evil spirit, a devil, the devil, false god, diabolical person, from L.L. diabolus (also the source of It. diavolo, Fr. diable, Sp. diablo; Ger. Teufel is O.H.G. tiufal, from Latin via Goth. diabaulus), from Ecclesiastical Gk. diabolos …   Etymology dictionary

  • DevIL — Тип графическая библиотека Разработчик Denton Woods Nicolas Weber Meloni Dario и др. Написана на C Операционная система Кроссплатформенное программное обеспечение Последняя версия 1.7.8 (8 марта 2009 года) …   Википедия

  • DEViL — (engl. Teufel) bezeichnet: ein Album der Band Die Ärzte, siehe Devil (Album) eine Programmierschnittstelle zum Laden und Speichern von Grafiken, siehe DevIL Development Environment for Visual Languages (DEViL), ein Generator System für visuelle… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Devil — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Devil Álbum de Die Ärzte Publicación 21 de noviembre de 2005 Género(s) Punk Rock …   Wikipedia Español

  • Devil — (engl. Teufel) bezeichnet: ein Album der Band Die Ärzte, siehe Debil (Album)#Devil eine Programmierschnittstelle zum Laden und Speichern von Grafiken, siehe DevIL Development Environment for Visual Languages (DEViL), ein Generator System für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Devil — Données clés Titre québécois Démon Réalisation Drew et John Erick Dowdle Scénario M. Night Shyamalan Brian Nelson Acteurs principaux Bojana Novakovic Chris Messina Sociétés de productio …   Wikipédia en Français

  • devil\ of\ it — • devil of it • heck of it n. phr. 1. the worst or most unlucky thing about a trouble or accident; the part that is most regrettable. Andy lost his notebook, and the devil of it was that the notebook contained all his homework for the coming week …   Словарь американских идиом


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.