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Devil-may-care   /dˈɛvəl-meɪ-kɛr/   Listen
Devil-may-care

adjective
1.
Cheerfully irresponsible.  Synonyms: carefree, freewheeling, happy-go-lucky, harum-scarum, slaphappy.  "Freewheeling urban youths" , "Had a harum-scarum youth"
2.
Marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness.  Synonyms: raffish, rakish.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Devil-may-care" Quotes from Famous Books



... chief's scrutiny, the Secret Service agent contemplated the luxurious appointments of the limousine with satisfaction and puffed contentedly at his cigarette. His air of breeding was unmistakable, but the devil-may-care sparkle in his gray-blue eyes redeemed an otherwise expressionless face from being considered heavy. The spirits of the Herr Chief of the Secret Service rose. His recollection and judgment was still good; his agent, by men and women, would be ...
— I Spy • Natalie Sumner Lincoln

... along with his rough sea-song And the throat of a salty tar, This devil-may-care, till he makes his lair By the light of ...
— Songs from Vagabondia • Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey

... Englishman in his devil-may-care way does not trouble to persecute or oppress; his tolerant spirit, aided by the splendid devotion of a few great men, has, in the words of Seeley, built up a glorious free Empire "in a ...
— War Letters of a Public-School Boy • Henry Paul Mainwaring Jones

... respectable tailor, and whose harmless ambition it was to make the wild slip of his blood a respectable tailor in his turn. Never was the saying "Like father, like son" more astonishingly belied. Young John Porteous would have nothing to do with the tailor's trade. He was dissipated, he was devil-may-care; there was nothing better to be done with him than to ship him abroad into the military service of some foreign State, the facile resource in those days for getting rid of the turbulent and the troublesome. John Porteous went into foreign ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume II (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... direction. Reassured, I fixed my eyes upon the open window of Marie's bed-chamber, which was immediately over the back door, in the hope that those dear, tender, dark eyes, were surveying me from behind the curtains. I flourished my little cane, loitered to pick a primrose, and sang one of our devil-may-care choruses in order to insult this English beast, and to show my love how little I cared for danger when it stood between her and me. The creature was abashed by my fearlessness, and so, pushing open the back door, I was able to enter the farmhouse ...
— The Last Galley Impressions and Tales - Impressions and Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... unsteadily to the tree I have mentioned, leaned there, and I saw there was much blood upon his face which he essayed to wipe away with the cuff of his coat. Now, upon his whole person, from the crown of his unkempt head down to his broken, dusty boots, there yet clung that air of jaunty, devil-may-care rakishness which I had seen, ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... a sturdy fellow about a year older than Angel. He had a devil-may-care air about him, and he wore, at a rakish angle, a cap, bearing the badge of a well-known school. He turned ...
— Explorers of the Dawn • Mazo de la Roche

... ride, Mr. Wrenn laughed aloud. With a comfortable feeling on the side toward the fire he stuck his slight legs straight out before the old-time settle, looked devil-may-care, made delightful ridges on the sanded floor with his toe, and clapped a pewter pot on his knee with a small emphatic "Wop!" After about two and a quarter tankards he broke out, "Say, that peddler guy there, ...
— Our Mr. Wrenn - The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man • Sinclair Lewis

... refused to do. On the contrary he did me the honour to paint my portrait beside his own, where you may see both of them to-day in that glorious fresco of the School of Athens, the serious inspired face of the young maestro cheek by cheek with the coarser features of his laughing, devil-may-care friend; and I prize more highly that testimony of his esteem than all the other honours of ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... spite of that agony, in spite of the heartrending pathos of her pale wan face, and through the anguish of seeing her tears, the ruling passion—strong in death—the spirit of adventure, the mad, wild, devil-may-care irresponsibility was never ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... good-humoured. On the contrary, "Gentleman Jim," as they call him, has lost much of the rollicking, devil-may-care recklessness that earned his nickname, and is often morose now—sometimes even fierce ...
— M. or N. "Similia similibus curantur." • G.J. Whyte-Melville

... a rough place. No mining hamlet in the placer gulches of California, nor any backwoods village I ever saw, approached it in picturesque, devil-may-care abandon. It was a lawless draggle of wooden huts and houses, built in crooked lines, wrangling around the boggy shore of the island for a mile or so in the general form of the letter S, without the slightest subordination to the points of ...
— Travels in Alaska • John Muir

... he told me that she had almost broken his old heart lately by fallin' in love, or imaginin' she had, with one of his herdsmen, a handsome, dashing, devil-may-care sort of a fellow he had picked up at Bozeman and taken out to his ranch about a year before. When the old man found out that the gal was gone on the fellow, and that he was a-meetin' her after dark, he ups and discharges him ...
— The Burglar's Fate And The Detectives • Allan Pinkerton

... company of the Barang and took up his post at the gangway with a roaring sea-song rumbling in his mossy throat. Some of his stout, devil-may-care spirit had gone into the native crew, and there was less of furtiveness and more of confident satisfaction with their job as the little brown men listened to the jovial harmony of ...
— Gold Out of Celebes • Aylward Edward Dingle

... sparkling marriage chorus, with the fanciful peasants and the still more fanciful bridegroom in silk, the bright appearance of Clairette at the window, and the sympathy awakened by her love for the devil-may-care revolutionary poet seduced Kate like a sensual dream; and in all she saw and felt there was a mingled sense of nearness and remoteness, an extraordinary concentration, and an absence of her own proper individuality. Never had she heard such music. How suave it was compared ...
— A Mummer's Wife • George Moore

... you say you 'blew in,' Tommy?" he asked about half a dozen times during our lunch. In reality, the reckless, devil-may-care fellow Vidal had "blown in" to bring his second daughter to a boarding school—a thing no doubt contemplated months ahead. But Mr. Sims insisted in regarding Tommy's movements as purely fortuitous, the sport of chance. He varied his question by asking "When do you expect to 'blow out' ...
— The Hohenzollerns in America - With the Bolsheviks in Berlin and other impossibilities • Stephen Leacock

... wore almost as long as a woman's, was coarse and black, and his face strongly marked, and of the precise color of two small rivulets of tobacco-juice that escaped from the corners of his mouth. He had an easy, self-possessed manner, and a careless, devil-may-care way about him, that showed he had measured his powers, and was accustomed to 'rough it' with the world. He wore a broadcloth coat of the fashion of some years ago, but his waistcoat and nether garments ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... from her voice, which is really exceptional, she is Francis over again—Francis as he was, a high-spirited, reckless, devil-may-care fellow, winning and tyrannical, as we all remember him in the old days when ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... sheds occupied by the workmen before the strike. The young militiamen immediately began pervading South Harvey, Foley and Magnus, and when the strikers lined up before the gates and doors of their former working places at seven o'clock that morning they met a brown line of youths—devil-may-care young fellows out for a lark, who liked to prod the workmen with their bayonets and who laughingly ordered the strikers to stop trying to keep the strike-breakers from going to work. The strikers were bound by ...
— In the Heart of a Fool • William Allen White

... was one of the many gifts of her royal lover. Sir Oswald, with his amazing technique, has managed to convey that suggestion of determination and resolution, one might almost say obstinacy, lying behind the gay, devil-may-care roguishness of her bewitching glance. Her slim, girlish figure he has portrayed with amazing accuracy, also the beautiful negligent manner in which she invariably carried her hunting-crop; her left hand is lovingly caressing the head of her faithful hound, Roger, who, Raymond ...
— Terribly Intimate Portraits • Noel Coward

... notwithstanding our confidence, we felt that in the event of a general outbreak we were still in a dangerous position and that every care should be exercised. Upon my own part, I felt no uneasiness. Zim Smith was there, a rollicking devil-may-care fellow, and I believed he alone was the match for all of the Indians east of the Cascade Mountains. A careful guard was maintained, however, our horses kept near at hand, and ...
— Reminiscences of a Pioneer • Colonel William Thompson

... was wrapped, devouring these with divided relish, and learning the news which had transpired since we sailed. The river here opened into a broad and straight reach of great length, which we bounded merrily over before a smacking breeze, with a devil-may-care look in our faces, and our boat a white bone in its mouth, and a speed which greatly astonished some scow boatmen whom we met. The wind in the horizon rolled like a flood over valley and plain, and every tree bent to the blast, and the mountains like school-boys turned their cheeks to it. They ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... letter in his hand, and bringing back to his memory the handsome face and devil-may-care expression of his tutor, remembers how the joke had widened, and reached its height when, at forty years of age, old Wynter had flung up his classes, leaving them all plant l as it were, and declared his intention of starting ...
— A Little Rebel • Mrs. Hungerford

... who, on the pavement before the house in Park Crescent, threw the satin slipper at the departing carriage. He had been very hearty and booming all the time, the human presentment of a devil-may-care lion out for a jaunt, and his great laugh thundering cheerily above the clatter of talk had infected the heterogeneous gathering. Unconsciously dull eyes sparkled and pursy lips vibrated into smiles. So gay a wedding reception I have never attended, and I am ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... and the effect was intensified by a flaring red handkerchief around his head and the haft of a knife protruding from his waistband. The rowers behind him, though of varying degrees of swarthiness and height, all had the same sinewy build, the same bold stare, the same devil-may-care insolence of manner; and though none but the lookout wore the piratical red around his brow, more than one knife hilt showed at their waists. The steersman, whose copper-brown skin and flat face betokened ...
— The Pathless Trail • Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel

... sees them all go by, from the gay French secretary of embassy, puffing at a cigarette as he hurries from one visit to the next, to the neat and military German diplomat, landing from his steam launch on his return from the palace; from the devil-may-care English youth in white flannel to the graceful Turkish adjutant on his beautiful Arab horse; from the dark-eyed Armenian lady, walking slowly by the water's edge, to the terrifically arrayed little Greek ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... was an agreeable little touch of intimacy in it. It confirmed friendly relations with the mother. What were his designs as regards the daughter he did not know. They were not evil, certainly. For all his southern blood, Latin traditions and devil-may-care upbringing, Aristide, though perhaps not reaching our divinely set and therefore unique English standard of morality, was a decent soul; further, partly through his pedagogic sojourn among them, and partly through his childish adoration of the frank, fair-cheeked, northern goddesses ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... stately noble he answers all speakers From a memory full as a Chronicle-maker's, With the suave behaviour of Abbot or Prior, Yet the blasphemous tongue of a horse-thief liar And he wise as false in every grey hair, Violent, garrulous, devil-may-care. When he cries, 'The case is settled and over!' Though you were a saint, ...
— A Celtic Psaltery • Alfred Perceval Graves

... the first we had seen in a long time, were brought in from Sherman's army. They were plump, well-conditioned, well-dressed, healthy, devil-may-care young fellows, whose confidence in themselves and in Sherman was simply limitless, and their contempt for all Rebels and especially those ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... a cloud of smoke into the air and swung one leg across the other with a sort of devil-may-care air that was part of his Headland make-up ...
— The Riddle of the Frozen Flame • Mary E. Hanshew

... them. Of a surety, the last part Bertie dreamed of playing was that of a teacher to any mortal thing. Yet—here in Africa—it might reasonably be questioned if a second Augustine or Francois Xavier would ever have done half the good among the devil-may-care Roumis that was wrought by the dauntless, listless, reckless soldier, who followed instinctively the one religion which has no cant in its brave, simple creed, and binds man to man in links that are as true as steel—the religion of a ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... unfriendly good-bye at the shore. The temper of adventure is deeply ingrained in the new romance as in the old; the very word adventure is saturated with a sentiment very congenial to us both for better and worse; it quickens the hero in us and flatters the devil-may-care. ...
— Recent Developments in European Thought • Various

... almost anybody, for instance, except a very great milksop or a pedant of construction, Charles O'Malley with its love-making and its fighting, its horsemanship and its horse-play, its "devilled kidneys"[23] and its devil-may-care-ness, is a distinctly delectable composition; and if a reasonable interval be allowed between the readings, may be read over and over again, at all times of life, with satisfaction. But the fact of the author's change remains not the less ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... He sang the devil-may-care lines on and on, lifting the crew to the work and to the chorused emphasis of "Whiskey for ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... the stars, the wandering of the moon, the coming and going of the sun, the crooning of the river, the shout of the big, manly, devil-may-care winds, the boom of the diving beaver ...
— The River and I • John G. Neihardt

... silence, after which Toby Crackit, seeming to abandon as hopeless any further effort to maintain his usual devil-may-care swagger, ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... with frivolity. Men kept dropping in, cigar in mouth, walking to their seats with that air of well-washed and stiff composure peculiar to British youth, grim with self-consciousness, but affecting the devil-may-care with a certain measure of success. Some of them escorted ladies, but by far the greater number were in couples, or in parties of three or four. The rose of health, or, in many cases, of repletion, sat ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... with him a small, shaggy, nondescript dog, a dog as shabby as he, trotting close at his heels. He carried a light stick, which he occasionally twirled over in his hand. As I drew nearer I could hear him whistling and even, from time to time, breaking into a lively bit of song. What a devil-may-care chap he seemed, ...
— The Friendly Road - New Adventures in Contentment • (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker

... him. Sometimes, when neighbors or customers "treated" him in the village, and he felt he had taken all the whisky that cloves would conceal, he took a five-cent cigar instead of a drink. He did not particularly like the smoking of it, but there was a certain devil-may-care recklessness in going down the street with a lighted cigar in his teeth, which had all the more fascination for him because of its manifest danger. He felt at these times that he was going the pace, ...
— In the Midst of Alarms • Robert Barr

... face bubbled with mirth at his story of the improvised tango that had wrecked the Sea Siren, the quick young eyes of the girl were taking in the compelling devil-may-care charm of Lindsay. Battered though he was, the splendid vigor of the man still showed in a certain tigerish litheness that sore, stiff muscles could not conceal. No young Greek god's head could have risen more superbly from the brick-tanned column of ...
— The Big-Town Round-Up • William MacLeod Raine

... to Paris, where we stayed at the Ritz. The Count proved a devil-may-care fellow, with plenty of friends in the French capital. When with the latter he treated me as a servant; when ...
— The Count's Chauffeur • William Le Queux

... closed, and then came the tread of feet. I peered through the portieres shortly to see the entrance of two men, one of whom was the old caretaker. His companion was a dark, handsome fellow, of Hungarian gipsy type. There was a devil-may-care air about him that fitted him well. It was Steinbock. He was dressed with scrupulous care, in spite of the fact that he wore riding clothes. It is possible that he recognized the importance of the event. One did not write one's name under a princess' ...
— The Princess Elopes • Harold MacGrath

... its admiral and vice-admiral, appointed partly by the owner, and partly by the skippers of the vessels. The devil-may-care spirit was always a great factor with the men. The admiral directed operations by flags in the daytime and by rockets at night, thus indicating what the fleet was to do and where they were to fish. Generally he had the fastest boat, and the cutters, hunting for the fleet always lay just astern ...
— A Labrador Doctor - The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

... his power for his brother's sin. And beside the sofa where the girl lay he met Joan Whitby. And such are the vagaries of human nature, with its beginning on that day, the gay, light heart, the fickle fancies, light loves, wild escapades of the devil-may-care young sportsman, all vanished away into thin air before a love that filled his whole being. Lovelier, gayer, cleverer women, ready enough to meet the heir of Richard Fourtenay-Carew halfway, had left him only gay and careless. Joan Whitby, shy, distrustful, ...
— The Rhodesian • Gertrude Page

... an unlighted cigar between his teeth, and descended the steps, to all outward appearance the same reckless, audacious Hampton as of old. Mrs. Guffy smiled happily from an open window as she observed the square set of his shoulders, the easy, devil-may-care smile upon his lips. ...
— Bob Hampton of Placer • Randall Parrish

... and he scrambled out of the boat and came towards her. He was wearing a low-necked shirt; his face and neck were tanned by the sun, as were the arms, bare to the elbow. Without doubt he was a handsome man, and the bold, devil-may-care expression on his face did not make him the less attractive. Kathleen knew that many a girl in the district, well-to-do and not bad looking, would have ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... equal height with Mr. Jefferson, who was over six feet—was enveloped in a light riding-coat with short capes over the shoulders, which, when he threw it off, disclosed to view the uniform of a major-general of continental dragoons. Just behind him stood two of his suite, his young kinsman, the devil-may-care Vicomte de Beaufort, and the Vicomte d'Azay, a brave young French officer who had served with Beaufort under Rochambeau and had been present ...
— Calvert of Strathore • Carter Goodloe

... and went onward with their devil-may-care test, devised in a historic keel-boat man's brain, as inflamed then by alcohol as their ...
— The Covered Wagon • Emerson Hough

... and when they seemed to care not; nor did they measure the distance, or count the cost in life, or bother their brains about the great rivers to be crossed, and the food required for man and beast, that had to be gathered by the way. There was a "devil-may-care" feeling pervading officers and men, that made me feel the full load of responsibility, for success would be accepted as a matter of course, whereas, should we fail, this "march" would be adjudged the wild adventure of a crazy fool. I had no purpose to march ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... represented as in one eternal state of weariness from the waist upwards; and hummed a fragment of a song. It was a Bacchanalian song, something about a Sparkling Bowl. He sang it with an assumption of a Devil-may-care voice, that made his face a thousand times more meagre and more ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... much, old fellow. There's no other boy in the house would have done it for me but you or Arthur. I can see well enough," he went on, after a pause, "all the best big fellows look on me with suspicion; they think I'm a devil-may-care, reckless young scamp. So I am—eleven hours out of twelve, but not the twelfth. Then all of our contemporaries worth knowing follow suit, of course: we're very good friends at games and all that, but not a soul of them but you and Arthur ever tried ...
— Tom Brown's Schooldays • Thomas Hughes

... the facts then. You deny that a youth of one character can be transformed into a man of an opposite character. Now then—yes, I have it. There's the founder of La Trappe, and Ignatius Loyola; in boyhood, and someway into manhood, both devil-may-care bloods, and yet, in the end, the wonders of the world for anchoritish self-command. These two examples, by-the-way, we cite to such patrons as would hastily return rakish young waiters upon us. 'Madam, or sir—patience; patience,' we say; 'good madam, or sir, would you discharge forth your ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... hither and thither to see whether the Governor's footmen had set out green tables for whist. Their features were full and plump, some of them had beards, and in no case was their hair curled or waved or arranged in what the French call "the devil-may-care" style. On the contrary, their heads were either close-cropped or brushed very smooth, and their faces were round and firm. This category represented the more respectable officials of the town. In passing, I may say ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... swaggering down the hill with a devil-may-care mien, her gun still over her shoulder, her ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... the devil-may-care cavalier who had laughed and fought and whistled under the window of her room. He stepped from the thick of the circle near Rickety and responded to the voice of the crowd by waving his hat. It would have been a trifle too grandiloquent had ...
— Alcatraz • Max Brand

... devil-may-care in his manner as he listlessly turned over his morning mail, thrusting his pistol back into the bank portmanteau. The sight of the familiar case recalled to him his ...
— The Midnight Passenger • Richard Henry Savage

... degrees more delighted: became the smile of a whimsical genius of devil-may-care, of an exultantly mischievous Pan. But he offered not a word of comment upon his work. He was an artist who was, in the main, content to achieve his masterpieces and leave comment and blame and praise to his public and ...
— No. 13 Washington Square • Leroy Scott

... features and outline of an old Grecian goddess, but with more of Juno than of Venus, for she might perhaps err a little upon the side of opulence. There was a challenge and defiance dancing in those dark devil-may-care eyes of hers which might have roused a more cold-blooded man than her companion. Her dress was simple and dark, but admirably cut. She was clever enough to know that a pretty woman should concentrate attention ...
— A Duet • A. Conan Doyle

... models, masters, singers of sorts, actors and actresses, sewing-girls, frightful old concierges; students from the four corners of the earth driven hither by the four winds of heaven, came and went in the devil-may-care wake of Stocks and the Checkleighs and disported themselves before the reflective and appreciative eyes of Peter Champneys. These gay Bohemians laughed at him for what Stocks called his spinterishness, but ended by loving him as only youth can ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... Starlight being brought in, handcuffed, between two troopers, and looking as if he'd ridden a long way. He was just as easy-going and devil-may-care as ever. He said ...
— Robbery Under Arms • Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood

... his Eminence curl with ire. Treville understood admirably the war method of that period, in which he who could not live at the expense of the enemy must live at the expense of his compatriots. His soldiers formed a legion of devil-may-care fellows, perfectly undisciplined toward ...
— The Three Musketeers • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... devil-may-care note in his voice that filled her with a vague apprehension. Summoning up her courage, she faced him, striving to ...
— The Splendid Folly • Margaret Pedler

... Eastern waters where crowded steamboats ply the Sound, the Hudson, the Connecticut, and the Potomac, year after year, with never a disaster. The cheaper material of Western boats has something to do with this difference, but a certain happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care spirit, which has characterized the Western riverman since the days of the broadhorns, is chiefly responsible. Most often an explosion is the result of gross carelessness—a sleepy engineer, and a safety-valve "out of kilter," as too many of them often are, have killed their hundreds on the Western ...
— American Merchant Ships and Sailors • Willis J. Abbot

... and dark, arching eyebrows. The face, with its indefinable stamp of birth and breeding was handsome enough in its patrician mould, but marred somewhat by the lines of cynicism, or dissipation, round the sombre, reckless eyes and intolerant mouth. He had a cool, clear voice and a whimsical, devil-may-care sort of manner that was apparently natural to him, as was also a certain languid grace of movement. He possessed an irritating mannerism of continually elevating his chin and dilating his curved nostrils disdainfully in a sort of soundless sniff. Beyond a slight flush he showed ...
— The Luck of the Mounted - A Tale of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police • Ralph S. Kendall

... admiring silence by all but Terry. Everybody but that devil-may-care and lawless pillar of the law was afraid of Neil. But Terry would ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... and he has an adorable disregard for laws and things. He's just a big, irresponsible boy—and yet, he makes you feel as if he always knew exactly what to do and how to do it. And he is brave, too, with a reckless, devil-may-care sort of bravery that takes no thought of cost or consequences. He knew, when he let go his bridle reins, that he couldn't swim a stroke—and he smiled and didn't care. And he's gentle and considerate, too." She remembered the look in his eyes when he said: ...
— The Texan - A Story of the Cattle Country • James B. Hendryx

... depressingly third-rate second-class compartment (there was no first class, and the third was far too richly flavoured for his stomach) he cultivated a doze as the train pulled out. But, driven as provincial trains habitually are, in a high spirit of devil-may-care, its first stop woke him up with a series of savage, back-breaking jolts which were translated into jerks when it started on again and fiendishly reiterated at every suspicion of a way-station on the course. So that he presently ...
— Alias The Lone Wolf • Louis Joseph Vance

... songs of the British and the weird ones of the natives. Quite a crowd had collected to listen, including Ridgeway and Veath, who were strolling along the deck, arm in arm, enjoying an after-dinner smoke, and had paused in their walk near the group, enjoying the robust, devil-may-care tones of ...
— Nedra • George Barr McCutcheon

... innocent of wood-ash, perhaps, and somewhat ill-shapen. The man laughed gaily and drew himself up. So handsome a man could surely be forgiven a broken omelette and some charcoal, if only for the sake of his gay blue eyes, his curling brown hair, and his devil-may-care air of prosperity. He looked at the Senorita and laughed in the manner of a man who had never yet failed to "get on" with women. He folded his arms with fine, open gestures, and stood looking with approving nods upon his own handiwork. He was without ...
— Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories • Henry Seton Merriman

... ranch story of Montana which centers around the fact that the leader of the "Lightfoot Rustlers" and the likeable but devil-may-care brother of the hero are one and the same. Cullum is ...
— Barbarians • Robert W. Chambers

... before, Frenchy McAllister had changed his identity from a happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care cow-puncher and became a machine. The grief that had torn his soul was not of the kind which seeks its outlet in tears and wailing; it had turned and struck inward, and now his deliberate ferocity was icy and devilish. Only a glint ...
— Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up - Bar-20 • Clarence Edward Mulford

... certainly showed she had towered above her material. The Spanish Marauder swaggered along in helmet, breast-plate, doublet and hose, a hare and pheasant slung jauntily over his shoulder, and his jolly, devil-may-care face, that had evidently smelt powder, full of an arrogant self-satisfaction. The Chiron was a strong piece of anatomical modelling. The ancient centaur, indeed, looked very wise and very noble, and the horse ...
— Cleo The Magnificent - The Muse of the Real • Louis Zangwill

... reed. Adj. rash, incautious, indiscreet; imprudent, improvident, temerarious; uncalculating^; heedless; careless &c (neglectful) 460; without ballast, heels over head, head over heels; giddy &c (inattentive) 458; wanton, reckless, wild, madcap; desperate, devil-may-care. hot-blooded, hotheaded, hotbrained^; headlong, headstrong; breakneck; foolhardy; harebrained; precipitate, impulsive. overconfident, overweening; venturesome, venturous; adventurous, Quixotic, fire eating, cavalier; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... the man on the bed had his hands bound. Bending down, he recognized the face of Gordon. Beaten and bruised and gaunt from hunger it was, but the eyes still gleamed with the same devil-may-care smile. ...
— A Daughter of the Dons - A Story of New Mexico Today • William MacLeod Raine

... mongrel, as tough, and as scarred as Scrap, he carried his wiry body with a devil-may-care assurance, in which Scrap may have recognized a kindred spirit. He decided in a flash. He made a dart and fell in abreast the sergeant of Company K. Muldoon ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... the contempt of fear, the power of dashing headlong into a thing without calculating the consequences is the kind of courage we admire. The person who is timid and anxious, and yet just manages desperately to screw himself up to the sticking-point, does not get nearly as much credit as the bold devil-may-care person. It is so with most performances; we admire ease and rapidity much more than perseverance and tenacity, what obviously costs little effort rather than what costs a ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... more important, he knew it now; he had the incensed, futile, malevolent, devil-may-care feeling of being beaten. He bitterly invited Fate not to stop at half-measures but to come on and do her worst. And Fate, with that mysterious responsiveness which often distinguishes her movements, came on. 'Of course! I might have expected ...
— Leonora • Arnold Bennett

... some killed in action, which, together with the half-famished wretches whom we had saved from burning, contributed in making it a scene which was well-calculated to shake a stout heart, as was proved in the instance of one of our sentries, a well known "devil-may-care" sort of fellow. I know not what appearances the burning rafters might have reflected on the neighbouring trees at the time, but he had not been long on his post before he came running into the piquet, and swore, by all the saints in the calendar, that he saw six dead Frenchmen advancing ...
— Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, in the Peninsula, France, and the Netherlands - from 1809 to 1815 • Captain J. Kincaid

... for the first, Israel had been struck by the dismally devil-may-care gestures of the moulders. But hardly had he himself been a moulder three days, when his previous sedateness of concern at his unfortunate lot, began to conform to the reckless sort of half jolly despair expressed by the others. ...
— Israel Potter • Herman Melville

... types of humanity to eat or drink in each other's presence. In brief, there was obviously only one dining-room, and not a series of dining-rooms classified according to castes. Mr. Prohack, free, devil-may-care and ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... with hot air, or inflammable gas, without means of directing its course or bringing it with certainty and safety back to a landing place? It was a hard question, and it is interesting to note that it was answered not by a soldier or sailor, not by an adventurer, or devil-may-care spirit, but by a grave and learned professor of physical science, Pilatre de Rozier. Presently he was joined in his enterprise by a young man of the fashionable world and sporting tastes, the Marquis d'Arlandes. Aristocratic Paris took up aviation in the last days of the eighteenth century, precisely ...
— Aircraft and Submarines - The Story of the Invention, Development, and Present-Day - Uses of War's Newest Weapons • Willis J. Abbot

... a prodigal, a wastrel, a spendthrift. Going the pace, he was, with a vengeance, like a razzling-dazzling, devil-may-care young dog. ...
— The Combined Maze • May Sinclair

... have very fine steam vessels on their side of the lake, but they are flimsily constructed, painted glaringly, white, and green, and yellow, without comfort or good attendance, and with a devil-may-care sort of captain, who seems really scarcely to know or to care whether he has passengers or has not, a scrambling hurried meal, and divers ...
— Canada and the Canadians - Volume I • Sir Richard Henry Bonnycastle

... going on. The minister's grave, rugged, and deeply lined face smoothed itself and shed ten years at least; in the eyes that I had seen wet with noble tears a laughing devil now lurked, while his strong mouth became a loose-lipped, devil-may-care one. His head with its aureole of bushy, grizzled hair set itself jauntily upon one side, and from it and from his face and his whole great frame breathed a ...
— To Have and To Hold • Mary Johnston

... wrongdoer.[39] Of course a person on the right side of the road has no right to run purposely or recklessly into a trespasser, simply because he has wrongfully given him the opportunity to receive an injury, and then turn round and sue for damages arising from his own foolhardiness and devil-may-care conduct.[40] ...
— The Road and the Roadside • Burton Willis Potter

... that mine were speedy legs. When I got there his face was grey and mottled, like an old man's, and his mouth had a weak droop, very unlike devil-may-care Steve. The two had pawed up the ground for rods around in the fight; the deer's horns, beneath where the man gripped them, were wet with the blood of his torn palms. Steve's knees, arms, and head were trembling as if in an ...
— Red Saunders' Pets and Other Critters • Henry Wallace Phillips

... if I were not so strong, considering the free, open-air, devil-may-care life I've led. Why, I was doing man's work at an age when most boys are wondering when they're going to be taken out of knickerbockers. I'd been half round the world before I was fifteen, and had been ...
— A Bid for Fortune - or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta • Guy Boothby

... against the stone floor at every step, and the great spots of mud—some of them not yet dry—with which he was bespattered from head to foot, showed that he must have been riding far and fast. He was a fierce-looking fellow, with an insolent, devil-may-care, arrogant sort of expression, and bold, swaggering gait, yet he started at sight of the young baron, and plainly shrunk from his eye; hastening on to the fire and bending over it, with his back turned to de Sigognac, ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... story of the Indian girl, the threats of Burning Star, the vowed vengeance of her brothers. Could it be that, taking advantage of this raid of Red Cloud, far from all the reservations, far from possibility of detection by count of prying agents, the three had induced a gang of daring, devil-may-care young warriors to slip away from the Big Horn with them and, riding stealthily away from the beaten trails, to ford the Platte beyond the ken of watchful eyes at Frayne and sneak through the mountain range to the beautiful, fertile valley beyond, and there lie in wait ...
— Warrior Gap - A Story of the Sioux Outbreak of '68. • Charles King

... make out Hughie," his father had said to her in March, 1917, when it was certain that war was coming. "What does this devil-may-care ...
— Joy in the Morning • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... the iron tonic of war had changed all that. The atmosphere was as different as the lowlands from the Alps; it was an atmosphere of devil-may-care assurance and adventurous manhood. Every one had the summer look of a boat-race crowd when the Leander is to be pulled off at Henley. In comparing the new England with the old, I should have said that every one now had the comfortable ...
— Out To Win - The Story of America in France • Coningsby Dawson

... Molyneux was a devil-may-care, sporting squire, with the sins of his class to his account. He drank, and gambled, and rioted, and oppressed his people that they might supply his pleasures; nor was that all, for he had sent the daughter of honest people in shame and sorrow over the ...
— An Isle in the Water • Katharine Tynan

... before ever I saw a copy. Even then, it did not lack interest. And one passage, at least, richly rewarded a glance through its pages. It seems that Elsie, arriving from somewhere, reached some city in the late evening. Her father (a rakish, devil-may-care fellow who thought it was all right for Elsie to play the piano on Sunday) met her at the station and engaged a cabriolet to take her across town to whatever shelter had been selected for the night. As they were bowling along one of the principal ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... experiment, and even Mercedes' little spark of Yankee "devil-may-care" burned very low after it, although the only thing that went wrong at the Dana's that year was that the hens laid soft-shelled eggs, which trouble was soon remedied by mixing a powder with their feed, which powder Madre Moreno ...
— The Beautiful Eyes of Ysidria • Charles A. Gunnison

... in the air service who knew less of flying than they had learned through the medium of hard knocks; they were determined from the very beginning to get to France; and they were the most care-free, reckless, adventurous, devil-may-care bunch of stem-winders that had ever plagued and embarrassed the service by the simple procedure of being gathered ...
— Aces Up • Covington Clarke

... written by others. In deference to Mr. Censor, names of places and persons have been suppressed, but such omissions will not detract from the interest of the book. 'Over the Top with the Third Australian Division' is illustrative of that big-hearted, devil-may-care style of the Australians, the men who can see the brighter side of life under the most distracting circumstances and most unpromising conditions. In the pages that follow, some incidents of the life of the men may help to pass away a pleasant hour and serve as a reminder of events, ...
— Over the Top With the Third Australian Division • G. P. Cuttriss

... be noble. A soldier! The very name, from childhood, is one to make a girl thrill. What then the actual thing, the uniform, invested somehow with chivalry and courage, the clean-cut athletic young man, somber and fascinating with his intent eyes, his serious brow, or his devil-may-care gallantry, the compelling presence of him that breathes of his sacrifice, of his near departure to privation, to squalid, comfortless trenches, to the fire and hell of war, to blood and agony and death—in a word to fight, fight, fight for women!... So through this beautiful emotion ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... me all this with a sort of exaggerated devil-may-care negligence, and as though he did me great honour by talking to me so, because it showed that he considered me the same sort of exalted Nihilistic being as himself, to whom death was a matter of no consequence whatever, ...
— The Idiot • (AKA Feodor Dostoevsky) Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... wherever his imagination could come into play. Mickey was the best hurler in the barony, no mean performer on the violin, could dance the national bolero of "Tatter Jack Walsh" in a way that charmed more than one soft heart beneath a red woolsey bodice, and had, withal, the peculiar free-and-easy devil-may-care kind of off-hand Irish way that never deserted him in the midst of his wiliest and most subtle moments, giving to a very deep and cunning fellow all the apparent frankness and openness ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... euchre at Georgie K.'s were not sufficient to entirely establish Doctor Gordon in his devil-may-care mood. Georgie K. kept looking at him with solicitation, which had something tender about it. "Don't you ...
— 'Doc.' Gordon • Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman

... strolling by on their way to the Club. A woman was laughing as she clung to her escort on the opposite side of the road, by the gardens. Across at the Cafe de Paris the people were going in to supper. The spirit of enjoyment seemed to be in the air—the light-hearted, fascinating, devil-may-care atmosphere she knew so well. Violet looked back into the bedroom and she no longer had the impulse to sleep. Her face had hardened a little. Every one was so happy and she was so lonely. She stuffed the notes and gold back into her bag, looked ...
— Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... respectful title of Father Blake. By either title, or in whatever capacity, the worthy Father had great influence over his parish, and there was a free-and-easy way with him, even in doing the most solemn duties, which agreed wonderfully with the devil-may-care spirit of Paddy. Stiff and starched formality in any way is repugnant to the very nature of Irishmen; and I believe one of the surest ways of converting all Ireland from the Romish faith would be found, if we could only manage to have her mass celebrated with the dry coldness ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... thoughts were not at all clear, he was confessing to himself; in spite of his assumed indifference, he was embarrassed by the focused stares of Dow and Mac Tavish. He wondered what sudden, devil-may-care whimsy was this that was galloping him away from business and politics and every other sane subject! He was conscious that there was in him a freakish and juvenile hankering ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... literally true. The victim of Tobe Cullum's disastrous practical joke had become on a sudden case-hardened, as it were. The consumptive pallor had miraculously disappeared from his cheeks and the homesick look from his eyes. He bore the merciless chaffing at Bishop's with devil-may-care good-nature, and he besought Mrs. Cullum, almost with tears in his eyes, to "let up on ...
— Southern Lights and Shadows • Edited by William Dean Howells & Henry Mills Alden

... knew none was needed. To the discerning, though they had never known another man who won or lost with equal gusto in the game, who when he met fortune or misfortune "treated those two impostors just the same," Jim Kendric was exactly what he appeared to be, a devil-may-care sort of fellow who had infinite faith in his tomorrow and who had never learned to ...
— Daughter of the Sun - A Tale of Adventure • Jackson Gregory

... "He's a devil-may-care fellow, isn't he?" exclaimed Morten when he had shut the door on Peter, "but he's no fool. Did you notice that he never asked for anything? They never do. When they're hungry they go up to the first person they meet and say: 'Let me have something to eat!' It's all the same to them what's ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... somehow held him in suspicion, nevertheless liked him. In certain moods he possessed that dash and devil-may-care air which pleases most women, providing the ...
— The Doctor of Pimlico - Being the Disclosure of a Great Crime • William Le Queux

... was leaning over the bulwarks, and his ruddy face was pale, and his look of devil-may-care ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... and it is encompassed, even within delightful Asolo, by the sins and sorrows of the world. Bluphocks, with his sniggering wit and his jingles of rhyme is a vagabond and a spy, who only covers the shame of his nakedness with these rags of devil-may-care good spirits. The genial cynicism of Ogniben is excellent of its kind, and pleases the palate like an olive amid wines; but this man of universal intellectual sympathies is at heart the satirist of moral illusions, the unmasker of self-deception, ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... Board did not at all like—and presently, as was his wont, began running things his own way. It had been found useless to question the soldiers of the guard. Not a man could be found to admit he knew the faintest thing about the escape. As for the prisoners, most of them reckless, devil-may-care rascals, they grinned or leered suggestively, but had nothing ...
— Found in the Philippines - The Story of a Woman's Letters • Charles King

... strength had never yielded this wonderful buoyancy and sense of loftiness. He was Casey—Casey who had let all the gang run for shelter from the Sioux while he had remained for one last and final drive at a railroad spike. But the cool, devil-may-care indifference, common to all his comrades as well as to himself, was not the strongest factor in the Casey of to-day. Up out of the rugged and dormant soul had burst the spirit of a race embodied in one man. Casey was his ...
— The U.P. Trail • Zane Grey



Words linked to "Devil-may-care" :   unconventional, irresponsible, raffish



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