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Devilment   Listen
Devilment

noun
1.
Reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others.  Synonyms: devilry, deviltry, mischief, mischief-making, mischievousness, rascality, roguery, roguishness, shenanigan.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Devilment" Quotes from Famous Books



... around him the youth felt a flash of astonishment at the blue, pure sky and the sun gleamings on the trees and fields. It was surprising that Nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden process in the midst of so much devilment. ...
— The Red Badge of Courage - An Episode of the American Civil War • Stephen Crane

... upon their way in slow, lumbering Saxon style. A worse man to deal with was a wooden-legged cripple who came hobbling down the path, so weak and so old to all appearance that a child need not stand in fear of him. Yet when Alleyne had passed him, of a sudden, out of pure devilment, he screamed out a curse at him, and sent a jagged flint stone hurtling past his ear. So horrid was the causeless rage of the crooked creature, that the clerk came over a cold thrill, and took to ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... a hangin' matter often enough," sez he. "Do you know the reason why the' 's so much devilment in ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... Jake Dennison, I reckon, except about devilment. I was afred you mightn't be quite up to the place here; you was rather young when I seen you last." He measured him as he might have done a ...
— Gordon Keith • Thomas Nelson Page

... reactionary? Look at that square of ground, that space of God's earth that was once sweet and fair, torn, desecrated, disembowelled! Those sheds! That great wind-wheel! That monstrous wheeled machine! Those dykes! Look at those three monsters squatting there, plotting some ugly devilment or other! Look—look at ...
— The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth • H.G. Wells

... he comes again, and his wife with him. They fly down, he all eager and alert to wait upon her, she whining and scolding. She doesn't think it's much of a place for worms. And there's that boy yonder. He's up to some devilment or other, she just knows. She oughtn't to have come away and left those eggs. They'll get cold now, she just knows they will. Anything might happen to them when she 's away, and then he 'll be to blame, for he coaxed her. He knows she told him she didn't want to come. But ...
— Back Home • Eugene Wood

... ain't voted. I don't believe in women votin'. They don't know who to vote for. The men don't know neither. If folks visited they would care more bout the other an wouldn't be so much devilment goin' on." ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... open cigarette-case that he proffered as he spoke. Our eyes met; and in his there was that starry twinkle of mirth and mischief, that sunny beam of audacious devilment, which had been my undoing two months before, which was to undo me as often as he chose until the chapter's end. Yet for once I withstood its glamour; for once I turned aside that luminous glance with front of steel. There was no need for Raffles to voice his plans. ...
— A Thief in the Night • E. W. Hornung

... fairies who acted a friendly part towards their human neighbours, helping the weak or ill-used, and generally busying themselves with acts of kindness; these were called "brownies." The fairies proper were a merry race, full of devilment, and malicious, tricky, and troublesome, and the cause of much annoyance and fear among the people. Besides these supernatural beings—brownies, fairies, &c.—there existed a belief in persons who were possessed of supernatural powers—magicians, ...
— Folk Lore - Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland within This Century • James Napier

... that may have gotten into his life. That same will-power, that same stubbornness, touched by the power of Christ becomes the rock-ribbed steadfastness that has enabled men to put through great achievements for God. I see a boy who can invent much devilment and get himself and others into an almost incredible amount of trouble and sorrow. It might be the judgment of some that "killing is the only thing good for him," but touched by the spirit of Jesus, that boy ...
— "Say Fellows—" - Fifty Practical Talks with Boys on Life's Big Issues • Wade C. Smith

... But your dog is not as ither dogs—'There's none like him—none,' I've heard ye say so yersel, mony a time. An' I'm wi' ye. There's none like him—for devilment." His voice began to quiver and his face to blaze. "It's his cursed cunning that's deceived ivery one but me—whelp o' Satan that he is!" He shouldered up to his tall adversary. "If not him, wha else had done it?" he asked, looking, up into the other's face ...
— Bob, Son of Battle • Alfred Ollivant

... stood on guard at each door, while the other four went through the house; they could hear them yelling and shouting to one another, pulling the furniture about, and every now and then firing off a shot in simple devilment, as if to show their prisoners that they had made sure of their prey and feared no interruption. The baby cried on, and the sunshine stole gradually up the wall; up and up it crept to the ceiling, and the clock ticked noisily ...
— The Moving Finger • Mary Gaunt

... "bawling out" because the officers respected the father's long years of faithful service and did not want to humiliate him. He knew that his boy flew high occasionally, but that was because he was "jess nachally sprightly and full o' devilment." No one could deny that Private Wilson was one of the finest animals, physically, that ever wore the uniform; or that he had gained a wide reputation among his comrades and the Filipinos on account of ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908. • Various

... of Murphy's gang, a motley crew, mostly French Canadians and Irish, just out of the woods and ready for any devilment that promised excitement. Most of them knew by sight, and all by reputation, Macdonald and his gang, for from the farthest reaches of the Ottawa down the St. Lawrence to Quebec the Macdonald gang of Glengarry ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... said Duthil. "He is the high priest of modernism. He and all the rest of the neurologists have divided up devilment into provinces, and labelled each province with names all ending in enia or itis. Berselius is a Primitive, it seems; this Balkan prince is—I don't know what they call him—sure to be something Latin, which does not interfere in the least with the fact that he ought to be boiled alive in ...
— The Pools of Silence • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... jocularly remarked that he wished he was in hell, so that he could warm up. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to be hanged. He recanted; he even wrote that he believed the whole business; and that he just said it for pure devilment. It made no difference. They hung him, and his bruised and bleeding corpse was denied to his own mother, who came and besought them to let her take her boy home. That was Scotch Presbyterianism. If the devil had been let loose in Scotland he would have improved ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll, Volume I • Robert Green Ingersoll

... hear my news. Besides, I fancy I shall see the thing clearer, after I have told it all out straight. I must tell you this, though, at the beginning—up to the present moment, I have been utterly and completely 'stumped.' I have tumbled upon one of the most peculiar cases of 'haunting'—or devilment of some sort—that I have come against. ...
— Carnacki, The Ghost Finder • William Hope Hodgson

... that went, "Oh, she's my leetle preety poosee pet." When I roused, it was Kitty's voice at the piano, but no change in the quality of the song or the thumping; and Hortense was stepping on deck. She had a cigarette, her beauty flashed with devilment, and John followed her. "They are going to have an explanation," I thought, as I saw his face. If that were so, then Kitty had blundered in her strategy and hurt Charley's cause; for after the two came Gazza, as obviously "sent" as any emissary ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... well as whisky and emigration tickets. I also remembered my father's opinion of Gorman, old Dan Gorman, the father of the man beside me. He was "one of the worst blackguards in the county, mixed up with every kind of League and devilment." Those were the days when the land agitation was at its height and Irish gentlemen—they were fighting for their existence as a class—felt rather strongly about the ...
— Gossamer - 1915 • George A. Birmingham

... git no book larnin. Ah larnt enough to keep out of devilment and ah knowed how to cook. Now these fools aroun here don' know nothin. They never did see Linktum or Horace Greeley. Ah wishes it wuz work time agin but ah ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Arkansas Narratives Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... fire, or quietly in his bed that he would die. If, when the regiment was ordered abroad, I had offered him a home, I firmly believe that my prediction would be verified before now; but I closed my doors to him, and the consequence was that he expended his devilment upon the French; and it is a deal better for him that it is only a leg that he has lost, which is a much less serious matter than having his neck unduly stretched. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I can say with pride that I have had no small share in this matter, ...
— Under Wellington's Command - A Tale of the Peninsular War • G. A. Henty

... had accidentally jostled him upon the deck. Once, too, when there was some grumbling and talk of a mutiny over the state of the provisions, he was of opinion that they should not wait for the dogs to rise, but that they should march forward and set upon them until they had trounced the devilment out of them. "Give me a knife and a bucket!" he cried with an oath, and could hardly be withheld from setting forth alone to deal with the ...
— The Green Flag • Arthur Conan Doyle

... returned home the next afternoon, but before his coming Faith contrived to scandalize Glen St. Mary again. In the reaction from Sunday evening's intensity and strain she was especially full of what Miss Cornelia would have called "devilment" on Monday. This led her to dare Walter Blythe to ride through Main Street on a pig, while she rode ...
— Rainbow Valley • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... up to see Yasmini's face framed in the opening, and he thought there was more devilment expressed in it, for all her loveliness, than in her voice that never quite lost its hint of laughter. He did not answer, and the trap-door ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

... of your mind to talk to me like this," says Lady Rylton at last. Something in the girl's air tells her that there is some little touch of devilment in it, some anger, some hatred. "But, naturally, I make allowances for you. Your birth, your surroundings, your bringing up, all preclude the idea that you should know how to manage yourself in the world into which you have been thrown by your ...
— The Hoyden • Mrs. Hungerford

... sometimes, but 'twarn't hard. You know, de nigger gits de devilment in de head, like folks do, sometimes, and de marster have to larn 'em better. He done dat hisself and he have no overseer. No nigger tried run away, 'cause each family have a cabin wid bunks for to sleep on and we'uns all live in de quarters. Sich nigger as wants to larn read and write, de marster's ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Texas Narratives, Part 1 • Works Projects Administration

... beginnin' it was Jim Barrett's plan, and it had jest enough risk and devilment in it to suit a harum-scarum young feller like me; so we got five of the boys who had good horses, lumped together all of our money, and rode out to invade ...
— Pardners • Rex Beach

... and stayed. Dey et and slept dar, and dey b'haved powerful nice and perlite to all our white folkses, and dey ain't bother Jedge Lumpkin's servants none. But den evvybody allus b'haved 'round Jedge Lumpkin's place. Ain't nobody gwine to be brash 'nough to do no devilment 'round ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Georgia Narratives, Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... was a considerably strong one; she was, then, not so icily cold! How he wished there were some more ridiculous customs in his family! How he wished he might order the servants out of the room, and begin to make love to her all alone. And just out of the devilment which was now in his blood he took the greatest pleasure in "playing the game," and while the solemn footmen's watchful eyes were upon them, he let himself go and was charming to her; and then, each instant they were alone he made himself freeze again, so that she could ...
— The Reason Why • Elinor Glyn

... or two of the other men demurred; they would have nothing to do with me. And at this Grindhusen changed front; for sheer devilment he fell to again about the engineer and his cousin, knowing ...
— Wanderers • Knut Hamsun

... grey eyes. What eyes they were! They made the man of wealth bolt his rusk. There was one mouthful he only chewed fifteen times instead of the customary thirty-two. They contained all Heaven, and they contained all Hell; in them lay the glory of a God, the devilment of a Siren, and the peace of a woman . . . . And just once she looked at him during dinner—the look of a stranger—cool and self-possessed. Just casually she wondered whether it was worth while to buy money at the cost ...
— Mufti • H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile

... which she proclaimed at the top of her voice on the promenade dock, though, as she added, it meant death if discovered. In New York the Kiraly appears in Kit's bed-bathroom in the early morning, for devilment; to our loud enjoyment, for the great bath joke has an assured immortality. The Kiraly's husband appears too. Fat in fire. When Kit goes to the hyphenated's flat to exchange fake papers in his ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, March 14, 1917 • Various

... one. Smiles are the hiding places for lies, and sneers, and mockeries, and scandals. Come back to the West; we all want you, the service and I. When I saw you this afternoon I knew you instantly, only I was worried as to what devilment you were up to. Win this girl, if you can; she's worth any kind of struggle, God bless her! Win her and ...
— The Man on the Box • Harold MacGrath

... talk of ordinary things for the few moments before that meal was announced, and then some kind of devilment seemed to come into Amaryllis—nothing could have been more seductive or alluring than her manner, while keeping to strict convention. The bright pink colour glowed in her cheeks and her eyes sparkled. She could not have accounted for her ...
— The Price of Things • Elinor Glyn

... not seeking a money reward, but I want to know what I am about. I am a pretty old man, and sometimes there is great devilment going on in will cases. I do not want to aid the wrong side; I'll do all I can ...
— Two Wonderful Detectives - Jack and Gil's Marvelous Skill • Harlan Page Halsey

... always running after the young girls and sweethearting with them. He never ran after any himself: he was always looking for birds' nests or tormenting people with his tricks. He was a daft wee fellow for devilment, was your Uncle William, and yet he's sobered down remarkably. Sometimes, I think he got more romance out of his tormenting and nesting than I got out of my courting, though love's a grand thing, John, when you can get it. I was always falling in love, but sure what ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... another than they ever were before; he can't do without her for a single minute. But of course he wouldn't find any one else to love him now. What a queer sort of devilment love is! But we ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... together, and looked at me over his glasses. Many a man knows that attitude and that look, and so many a man has been as uncomfortable as I began to be, and has felt as keen a sense of impending trouble. I began immediately searching my memory for some especial brand of devilment that I'd been sampling, but there was nothing doing. I had been losing some at poker lately, and I'd been away to the bad out at Ingleside; still, I looked him innocently in the eye and wondered ...
— The Range Dwellers • B. M. Bower

... up, and having taught her to beware of men and even of boys, she's took away from me when she's sick, and nobody allowed to see her except a blackmailing play-doctor, who is putting Heaven knows what devilment into her head. I suppose there's nothing to prevent me from finishing the housecleaning, if I don't speak to my own niece ...
— A Spinner in the Sun • Myrtle Reed

... gayly, "if my horse had only made up his mind whether he was a bird or a squirrel, and hadn't been so various and promiscuous about whether he wanted to climb a tree or fly. He's not a bad horse for a Mexican plug, only when he thinks there is any devilment around he wants to wade in and take a hand. However, I reckoned to see the last of you and your pile into Boomville. And I DID. When I meet three fellows like you that are clean white all through I sort of cotton to 'em, even if I'M a little of a brunette myself. And ...
— The Three Partners • Bret Harte



Words linked to "Devilment" :   hell, misbehavior, misbehaviour, hooliganism, blaze, misdeed, vandalism, devil, malicious mischief, monkey business



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