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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



... has arrived, and when he hears of the devilry he shakes his head, but thinks he could make the girl speak, if they only let him try his way a little. But they must first get authority from the mayor. Now the mayor had not gone to the hunt, for some friends arrived to visit him, whom he was obliged to stay at home and entertain, ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V1 • William Mienhold

... passing through all the Indian villages(2) soliciting them to a general war against both the English and the Dutch,(3) whereupon some of the neighboring Indians attempted to set our powder on fire and to poison the Director or to inchant him by their devilry, as their ill will was afterwards made manifest as well in fact as by report. Those of Hackingsack, otherwise called Achter Col, had with their neighbors killed an Englishman, a servant of one David Pietersen, and a few days after ...
— Narrative of New Netherland • Various

... off a woman in Fife, and put it upon a cow, which thereafter ran mad and died." He also cured a child of a disease "by straiking back the hair of his head, and wrapping him in an anointed cloth, and by that means putting him asleep," and thus through his devilry and witchcraft, cured the child. Other charges of a similar kind were brought against Grieve, who was found guilty and hanged on the Castle Hill.[196] At the same place, a year previous, Margaret Wallace was also sentenced to be hanged and burned, on the same kind of charge, and for "practising ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... position in a firm of envelope-makers in the City. But he had a romantic soul, and whenever the public craving for envelopes fell off—and that is seldom—he used to allay his secret passion for danger, devilry and excitement by writing sensational novels. One of these was recently published, and John Antony is now dead. The ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, October 20, 1920 • Various

... it into his head to ride at a different hour, if he rides alone," he began. "I will therefore have my mule saddled now, and will station my man—a countryman from Subiaco and good for any devilry—in some place where he can watch the entrance to the house, or the castle, or whatever you call this place. So soon as he sees the count come out he will call me. As a man can ride in only one of two directions in this valley, I shall have no trouble whatever in meeting the old gentleman, ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... know now whether it was pure devilry on the part of this woman, or whether she thought that she could turn me against my wife by encouraging her to misbehave. Anyway, she took a house just two streets off and let lodgings to sailors. Fairbairn used to stay there, and Mary would go round to have tea with her sister and him. How often ...
— The Adventure of the Cardboard Box • Arthur Conan Doyle

... those interminable days which occur only at schools. A school, more than any other institution, is dependent on the weather. Every small boy rises from his bed of a morning charged with a definite quantity of devilry; and this, if he is to sleep the sound sleep of health, he has got to work off somehow before bedtime. That is why the summer term is the one a master longs for, when the intervals between classes can be spent in the open. There is no pleasanter sight for an assistant-master at a private school ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... friend, and the two together succeeded in frustrating the infamous design. This sordid and callous rascal tried hard to lead people to suppose that he and Burton were hand and glove in various kinds of devilry, and a favourite phrase in his mouth was "I and Burton are great scamps." Percy Smythe [161] then an official under Lord Stratford, commented on hearing the saying: "No, that won't do, —— is a real scamp, ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... 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 semi-barbarism in the character ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Volume 1 • Leigh Hunt

... chimney, popping its head into the flue, and shrieking and blaspheming at every corner of the walls. As in the old story, the assailant was a spectre which could be felt but not seen. She had never before been so struck with the devilry of a gusty night in a wood, because she had never been so entirely alone in spirit as she was now. She seemed almost to be apart from herself—a vacuous duplicate only. The recent self of physical animation and clear ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... villainy brought you here?" said Harkaway. "What fresh act of devilry had you in contemplation when you got on ...
— Jack Harkaway and his son's Escape From the Brigand's of Greece • Bracebridge Hemyng

... 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 ...
— A Final Reckoning - A Tale of Bush Life in Australia • G. A. Henty

... they want to be praised, which is often, when they want to be mastered, which is sometimes; and when they want no nonsense, which is seldom. Just now the first feeling was in the ascendant with Bathsheba, with a dash of the second. Moreover, by chance or by devilry, the ministrant was antecedently made interesting by being a handsome stranger who ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy

... "Yes," he muttered, as he arranged his white tie in the glass just before dinner, "I think, Lady Mary, the chances are that I shall contrive to make you a little uncomfortable this evening. That Sylla Chipchase is as full of devilry as she can be, and with a very pretty taste for privateering besides. If I give her a hint of your designs, I should think there is nothing she would like better than to do a little bit of cutting-out business, and temporarily capture Lionel Beauchamp under the ...
— Belles and Ringers • Hawley Smart

... for prey; the bridge was thronged. The people for the most part were half drunk—they were the scourings from the low taverns in the Southwark Mint. Lavinia had been revolving a plan of escape, but to launch herself among an unruly mob ready for any devilry might be worse than remaining where she was. But in spite of all that she did not cease to think about her plan and watched for an opportunity when the worst of the ...
— Madame Flirt - A Romance of 'The Beggar's Opera' • Charles E. Pearce

... 'Good-morning, Mr. Perryman. How much?'—looking 'ard at my 'at all the time. I guessed she was up to some devilry, so I thought I would put her wrong a bit. 'A guinea, ma'am,' says I. She looks at my 'at again and says, 'Mr. Perryman, you've been took in. Twelve-and-six would have been more than enough for that 'at.' 'Oh,' says I to myself, 'you've been nosing round already, 'ave you?' I suppose I must have ...
— Mad Shepherds - and Other Human Studies • L. P. Jacks

... from what she had expected. She had imagined a gay, crowded room, wild gamblers shouting in their excitement, a band playing delirious waltz music, champagne corks popping merrily, painted women laughing, jesting loudly, all kinds of revelry and devilry and Bacchic things undreamed of. This was silly of her, no doubt, but the silliness of inexperienced young women is a matter for the pity, not the reprobation, of the judicious. If they take the world for their oyster and think, when they open it, they are going to find pearl necklaces ...
— Septimus • William J. Locke

... 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 to sheer off from the two watching gods, and walked carefully to the corner of the cabin. Nothing ...
— White Fang • Jack London

... they did mean mischief, and plenty of it too, for they no sooner appears aloft than a fine ship and her crew goes down close alongside of us; and as soon as that bit of work was over, away they go somewhere else to light up the scene of further devilry, I ...
— For Treasure Bound • Harry Collingwood

... become the light of hell. There was no air but horror. Across Benham's skies these fly-blown trophies of devilry dangled mockingly in the place of God. He had no ...
— The Research Magnificent • H. G. Wells

... your mind. Not for fellows like me. But we all agreed that you must be preserved for our country. Of that we have no doubt whatever—I mean all of us who have heard Haldin speak of you on certain occasions. A man doesn't get the police ransacking his rooms without there being some devilry hanging over his head.... And so if you think that it would be better for you ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... Vrouw Grobelaar. "I know you. But you're wrong. You don't know anything. Young girls in these days are like young pigs, all squeak and fight, but no bacon. Didn't the brother of my half-brother's wife die of a witch's devilry?" ...
— Vrouw Grobelaar and Her Leading Cases - Seventeen Short Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... will be palpable—let it be palpable, and then it will be found out, branded as such, and the original will of 1891, so favourable to the young blackguard's interests, would be held as valid. Was it devilry or merely additional caution which prompted Murray to pen that forged will so glaringly in Percival's favour? It ...
— The Old Man in the Corner • Baroness Orczy

... she'd sent me about my business once or twice before: for she couldn't bear the sight of anything as wasn't handsome; and I'd got this damaged leg of mine. Your Reverence recollects how I ventured up into a dancing saloon, where seafaring men was carrying on with drink and devilry, as the saying goes. And then, when I was for giving them a bit of an admonition ...
— Ghosts • Henrik Ibsen

... 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 ascribed the theory ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... my mother, Elizabeth. Boh a warse offender than either on us stonds afore yo. This woman is Nance Redferne, grandowter of the owd hag, Mother Chattox. Ey charge her wi' makin' wax images, an' stickin' pins in 'em, wi' intent to kill folk. Hoo wad ha' kilt me mysel', wi' her devilry, if ey hadna bin too strong for her—an' that's why hoo bears me malice, an' has betrayed me to Squoire Nicholas Assheton. Seize her, an' ca' me as a ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... the story of Old Jeffrey. The explanations have been, trickery by servants (Priestley), contagious hallucinations (Coleridge), devilry (Southey), and trickery by Hetty Wesley (Dr. Salmon, of Trinity College, Dublin). Dr. Salmon points out that there is no evidence from Hetty; that she was a lively, humorous girl, and he conceives that she began to frighten the maids, and only reluctantly exhibited before ...
— The Book of Dreams and Ghosts • Andrew Lang

... this explanation, and neither knew that Margaret had artfully prepared the way for it. It fitted in too well with their view of feminine nature. In the smoking-room, after dinner, the Colonel put forward the view that Miss Schlegel had jumped it out of devilry. Well he remembered as a young man, in the harbour of Gibraltar once, how a girl—a handsome girl, too—had jumped overboard for a bet. He could see her now, and all the lads overboard after her. But Charles and Mr. Wilcox agreed it was much more probably ...
— Howards End • E. M. Forster

... last my time—and his. And I jolly well don't care what happens afterward. He's not going to do us much harm. England's a deal tougher proposition than he thinks. It's you women who get up such a hullabaloo—I declare you make politics a perfect devilry! But then"—he shrugged his shoulders fiercely—"I'm not going to waste time in arguing. I just came to tell you what I intend to do; and then I'm going up to town. I've ordered the motor for ...
— The Coryston Family • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... up in a moment, and added of her own devilry a trumpet and banner. She set out from Charing Cross bravely enough, and a trumpeter being an unwonted spectacle, the eyes of all the town were clapped upon her. Yet none knew her until she reached Bishopsgate, where an orange-wench ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... has vastly improved under his Lordship's careful management. The trees in Hackton Park are all about forty years old, and the Irish property is rented in exceedingly small farms to the peasantry; who still entertain the stranger with stories of the daring and the devilry, and the wickedness and ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... spirits. He is a total abstainer from meat and liquor, and fasts once a week on the day sacred to the deity whom he venerates, usually Mahadeo; he is highly respected and never panders to vice. But the Janta, the 'Wise or Cunning Man,' is of a different type, and the following is an account of the devilry often enacted when a deputation visited him to inquire into the cause of a prolonged illness, a cattle murrain, a sudden death or other misfortune. A woman might often be called a Dakun or witch in spite, and when once this word had been used, the husband or nearest ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume II • R. V. Russell

... door upon the wretched creature who is in it now, and put its screen before a place, quite unsurpassed in all the vice, neglect, and devilry, of the worst old ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... beauty. But for them, how many more years of enjoyment might I have drawn from the Socratic Dialogues, from the Apology, and from the Republic! Think of it! It was not till four years ago that I read Thucydides and had my soul shaken by the supreme wickedness, the intellectual devilry of the Melian controversy. How I thrilled at the awful picture of the supreme tragedy at Syracuse! How I saw! How I perished with the Greek warriors standing to arms on the shore, and watching in their swaying agony the Athenian ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... my 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

... nigher, The corner-lines, the chimneys—look how clean, How new, how naked! See the batch of boats, Here at the stairs, washed in the fresh-sprung beam! And those are barges that were goblin floats, Black, hag-steered, fraught with devilry and dream! And in the piles the water frolics clear, The ripples into loose rings wander and flee, And we—we can behold that could but hear The ancient River singing as he goes New-mailed in morning to the ancient Sea. The gas burns lank and jaded in its glass: The old Ruffian soon ...
— The Song of the Sword - and Other Verses • W. E. Henley

... precipitate that the significance of it could not be felt at the time, a reign that showed that the Pope was something more than the friend of the English throne—he was in matters of Church discipline its checkmate. This was the time that England trembled at the devilry of a king and rejoiced at the sun of a new learning that was slowly dispelling the ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... laughed at all laws, mocked at all the Vidocqs, and Lupins, and Sherlock Holmeses, whether amateur or professional, French or English, German or American, that ever had or ever could be pitted against him, and who, for sheer devilry, for diabolical ingenuity, and for colossal impudence, as well as for a nature-bestowed power that was simply amazing, had not his ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... wonderful devilry!" Polunin declared, "and, do you know, there is another painter—Bosch. He has something more than devilry in him. You should see his ...
— Tales of the Wilderness • Boris Pilniak

... was the devil who tempted me to put a bullet through the man's heart. He was an enemy to the flag under which I fought, but he was no enemy to me—I had no right to become his executioner; but still the desire to kill him, for the mere devilry of the thing, came so strongly upon me that I no longer tried to resist it. I rose slowly upon my knees; the moon was shining very bright at the time, both he and his companion were too earnestly engaged to see me, and I deliberately shot him through the body. ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie



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



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