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Devilry   Listen
Devilry

noun
(pl. devilries)
1.
Wicked and cruel behavior.  Synonym: deviltry.
2.
Reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others.  Synonyms: devilment, deviltry, mischief, mischief-making, mischievousness, rascality, roguery, roguishness, shenanigan.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Devilry" Quotes from Famous Books



... the Inquisition! The "loving minion" is Mr. Cary's excellent translation of "amoroso drudo." But what a minion, and how loving! With fire and sword and devilry, and no wish (of course) to thrust his own will and pleasure, and bad arguments, down other people's throats! St. Dominic was a Spaniard. So was Borgia. So was Philip the Second. There seems to have been an inherent ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Volume 1 • Leigh Hunt

... things are not to blame. They only walk in the way that is shown them. Many of them are to be much pitied, for they honestly wish to withdraw from the world, only to find themselves in ten times worse worlds of sensuality and all other devilry. O my God! if I might I would fain speak of some of the occasions of sin from which Thou didst deliver me, and how I threw myself into them again. And of the risks I ran of utterly shipwrecking my ...
— Santa Teresa - an Appreciation: with some of the best passages of the Saint's Writings • Alexander Whyte

... up. I did not much think he would do that, for I guessed that the scoundrel would do with me as he had in some other cases; namely, take me and carry me back to the house, and there either threaten to shoot me, or hang me up over a fire, or some such devilry, to make those inside give in. I was determined this shouldn't be, and that if I could not shoot him I would be shot myself; for otherwise he would have got my father and mother, and it would have been three ...
— A Final Reckoning - A Tale of Bush Life in Australia • G. A. Henty

... the superiority of Christendom over Asia. Its vaunted civilisation is seen to be but a thin veneer, and its religion a matter of form rather than of life. Gazing from afar at the ghastly heaps of dead and the hosts of the mutilated, at science turned into devilry and ever inventing new tortures for rending and slaying, Asia may be forgiven for thinking that, on the whole, she prefers her own religions and ...
— The Case For India • Annie Besant

... best head would be puzzled by such devil-work," the mate continued, muttering. "Well, I have heard tell of women doing for a man in one way or another when they got him fairly ashore. But to bring their devilry to sea and fasten on such a man! . . . It's something I can't understand. But I can watch. Let them look ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... officers, we were ready to lay down our lives for the honor of the regiment, but no one of us had any knowledge of the real meaning of honor, and if any one had known it, he would have been the first to ridicule it. Drunkenness, debauchery and devilry were what we almost prided ourselves on. I don't say that we were bad by nature, all these young men were good fellows, but they behaved badly, and I worst of all. What made it worse for me was that ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... yet round? Not altogether so:—much, to the experienced eye, is not what it seems! Chancery and certain other Law-Courts seem nothing; yet in fact they are, the worst of them, something: chimneys for the devilry and contention of men to escape by;—a very considerable something! Parliament too has its tasks, if thou wilt look; fit to wear-out the lives of toughest men. The celebrated Kilkenny Cats, through their tumultuous congress, cleaving the ear of Night, ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... in the East seems to have obliterated any (all?) sentiments of chivalry, for he is never weary of recording disparaging estimates of women, and apparently delights in discovering evidence of 'feminine devilry"' (p. 184). This argumentum ad feminam is sharpish practice, much after the manner of the Christian "Fathers of the Church" who, themselves vehemently doubting the existence of souls non- masculine, falsely and foolishly ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... both sin and death. He announces that the kingdom of God is at hand, when the "Prince of this world" shall be finally "cast out" (John xii. 31) from the cosmos, as Jesus, during his earthly career, cast him out from individuals. Then will Satan and all his devilry, along with the wicked whom they have seduced to their destruction, be hurled into the abyss of unquenchable fire—there to endure continual torture, without a hope of winning pardon from the merciful God, their Father; or of moving ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... break the force of the projected blow by a defensive-offensive against Ypres. The attack was not their real offensive for 1915, but they developed the habit of distracting attention from their main objectives by decking out their subsidiary operations with some new devilry of ingenuity; and just as in 1918 they bombarded Paris with guns having a range of 75 miles when their real objective was the British front, so in 1915, when their main effort was against the Russians, ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... recovered himself and, shaking me feebly by the hand, bade me good-bye, promising to see that my message was properly delivered. When he had gone I laid myself back in my chair for a good think. The situation was a peculiar one in every way. If he were up to some devilry I had probably warned him. If not, why had he betrayed ...
— A Bid for Fortune - or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta • Guy Boothby

... was a discord of devilry that must have appeared a veritable pandemonium to the spirits of the air, were any such looking down on the wrathful, sanguinary scene from the clear blue heavens above, all radiant now with a golden glow that came from the west, where the declining sun was just beginning ...
— The Ghost Ship - A Mystery of the Sea • John C. Hutcheson

... (the Lord be praised) I was too much for him. There are legal formalities to fulfil yet; and I won't budge an inch, Lois, not one inch, my dear, till he's fulfilled every one of them. Mark my words, child, that boy's up to some devilry.' ...
— Miss Cayley's Adventures • Grant Allen

... upon his varnished shoes. He might have been an auditor of the previous conversation, so quickly and completely did he seem to take in the whole situation at a glance. Perhaps there was an extra tilt to his black-ribboned Panama hat, and a certain dancing devilry in his brown eyes—which might also have been an answer to ...
— The Three Partners • Bret Harte

... persisted in that belief cursing Spanish devilry until Cahusac crawled up out of the dark bowels of the ship, and stood blinking ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... discipline, the men were well behaved, and did not dare to disobey the orders of their chiefs. It was only when special orders for "frightfulness" had been issued, or when officers in subordinate command let their men get out of hand, or led the way to devilry by their own viciousness of action, that the rank and file of the ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... Bernard is invested, And wheresoe'er the slaves of strife are found Let your grim offices be now arrested, Nor the hot rifle shoot another round, Nor the pale flarelights toss, But for a space all devilry be barred, While Mars hangs motionless in pleased regard And the hushed lines look West to Palace Yard, Where on his breast our KING has ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug 8, 1917 • Various

... on the parapet, and watched her, and in the vague starlight his eyes burned with the old mocking devilry behind which he had ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... snug as could be, although looking very much like condemned thieves. We bound eight of them, and thrusting a stretcher across their backs, under their arms, and lashing the fins to the same by good stout lanyards, we were proceeding to stump our prisoners off to the boat, when, with the innate devilry that I have inherited, I know not how, but the original sin of which has more than once nearly cost me my life, I said, without addressing my superior officer, or any one else, directly—"I should like now to scale 'my pistol through that coffin. If I miss, ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... prescription," the doctor replied. "Drive that gypsy lassie out of the town before the soldiers reach it. She is firing the men to a red-heat through sheer devilry." ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... farewell to his pupil at the garden gate, "ye're the most aggravating little scoundrel in Muirtown Seminary, and the devilry that's in you I bear witness is bottomless; but ye're fine company, and ye 'ill, maybe, be a man yet, and Nestie and me will be glad to see ye when ye're no engaged with yir study. Ye 'ill ...
— Young Barbarians • Ian Maclaren

... "What piece of devilry are you up to now?" I inquired a bit anxiously; for Haigh's vagaries, from what I had seen and heard of them, ranged between wild and mad, and having got so near the Recipe, I didn't want to get in any mess that would ...
— The Recipe for Diamonds • Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne

... don't you see, the devilry was intended by Nature. Life would be the coldest of dishes without it.' And as for mixing the breeched and petticoated in those young days—'I can't enter into it,' my lord considerately said. 'All I can tell you ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... these sayings, I asked myself if it were not possible that the behaviour of certain eminent statesmen was due to some strange devilry of the East, and I made a vow to abstain in future from the Caerlaverock curries. But last month my brother returned from India, and I got the whole truth. He was staying with me in Scotland, and in the smoking-room the talk turned on occultism in the East. I declared myself a sceptic, ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... to make of it. Perhaps some new devilry of the gods was about to be perpetrated on him. He walked slowly and cautiously, prepared to be assailed at any moment. He did not know what to do, it was all so unprecedented. He took the precaution ...
— White Fang • Jack London

... possessed, suddenly whelmed themselves in shame, and staggered out into the dark. It is an experience that makes a man feel that the very earth is rocking beneath him; it makes him wonder if it is possible for a good man to be somehow caught in a hot gust of devilry and swept clean off his feet. But the thing that has impressed me as I have counted such names sadly on my fingers is that, without an exception, they were all in the forties, most of them in the early forties. Youth, of course, often sins, and sins grievously; ...
— Mushrooms on the Moor • Frank Boreham

... partiality that they will storm at every report of goodness and truth and prosperity in the man, or in the cause, or in the church, or in the party, they are so demented against. Jockey is not the word. There is the last triumph of pure devilry in the way that the prince of the devils turns old Prejudice's very best things—his love of his fathers, his love of the past, his love of order, his love of loyalty, his love of the old paths, and his very truest and best religion itself—into so much ...
— Bunyan Characters - Third Series - The Holy War • Alexander Whyte

... against itself. Oddly enough his progress was rapid. He soon outpointed in brilliancy and deftness the most talented of the group of Liszt's young people, and once, after playing the Mephisto Walzer with abounding devilry, Liszt cried, "Bravo, child," and then muttered, "And how he hates ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker

... morality. Men begin to think that, if not the whole truth, there is yet a real element of truth in the assertion of Nietzsche: "We believe that severity, violence, slavery, danger in the street and in the heart, secrecy, stoicism, tempter's art and devilry of every kind, everything wicked, tyrannical, predatory and serpentine in man, serves as well for the elevation of the human species as its opposite."[220] To ignore altogether the affirmation of that opposing morality, it may be, would be to ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... old man, without taking offence, "you mistake, kind sir, I meant familiar in witchcraft, in devilry—not (as it ...
— The Black Douglas • S. R. Crockett

... surveillance! But these fellows are—— Well! never mind. Perhaps you have seen the history of the Dutch minister at Turin, and of the spiriting away of his daughter by the Jesuits? It is all true; though, like the history of our friend's servant,[94] almost incredible. But their devilry is such that I am assured by our consul that if, while we are in the south, we were to let our children go out with servants on whom we could not implicitly rely, these holy men would trot even their small feet into churches with a view to their ultimate conversion! ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... very pleasant, but such pieces are rare, and the infirmity of human nature has sometimes made us sigh over these pages at the recollection of the cordial cheeriness of Scott's letters, the high spirits of Macaulay, the graceful levity of Voltaire, the rattling dare-devilry of Byron. Epistolary stilts among men of letters went out of fashion with Pope, who, as was said, thought that unless every period finished with a conceit, the letter was not worth the postage. Poor spirits cannot be the explanation of the stiffness ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol 3 of 3) - The Life of George Eliot • John Morley

... me to task in the vulgar manner usual with people of her low class, about my complaining to you; so she evidently knew that I had written to you on the subject. All the devilry began again yesterday morning, but I made short work of it by throwing the heavy arm-chair beside my bed at B.'s head, which procured me peace for the rest of the day. They always take their revenge on me when I write to you, or when they ...
— Beethoven's Letters 1790-1826, Volume 1 of 2 • Lady Wallace

... they? To know what you want, and not to mind what you pay for it, is the straight path to fame, fortune, and hell-fire. Careers, of course, vary; to dominate a continent or to open a corner shop as a pork-butcher's, plenty of devilry may go to either ambition. Also, genius is a rare gift. It by no means follows that because you are a bad man you will become a great one; but to be bad, and at the same time unsuccessful, is a hard fate. It casts a little doubt upon a man's badness if he does not, at least, make a little ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... Rogers, and would have leapt on him again had not the Rector, with wonderful agility for his years, flung himself between. "You dare to stand there and tell me that, to aid this devilry, you pushed a woman into shame—and ...
— The Adventures of Harry Revel • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch



Words linked to "Devilry" :   hooliganism, devil, immorality, misbehavior, malicious mischief, wickedness, iniquity, misbehaviour, hell, blaze, misdeed, evil, monkey business, vandalism



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