Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


Variant of deviltry.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈdɛvəlrɪ) or


n, pl -ries or -tries
1. reckless or malicious fun or mischief
2. wickedness or cruelty
3. (Alternative Belief Systems) black magic or other forms of diabolism
[C18: from French diablerie, from diable devil]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈdɛv əl tri)

n., pl. -tries.
1. mischievous behavior.
2. extreme or utter wickedness.
3. an act or instance of mischievous or wicked behavior.
4. diabolic magic or art.
[1780–90; variant of devilry]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.devilry - wicked and cruel behavior
evil, wickedness, immorality, iniquity - morally objectionable behavior
2.devilry - reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in othersdevilry - reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others
misbehavior, misbehaviour, misdeed - improper or wicked or immoral behavior
blaze, hell - noisy and unrestrained mischief; "raising blazes"
monkey business - mischievous or deceitful behavior
hooliganism, malicious mischief, vandalism - willful wanton and malicious destruction of the property of others
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Annoying yet harmless, usually playful acts:
Informal: shenanigan (often used in plural).
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[ˈdevlrɪ] N (= wickedness) → maldad f, crueldad f; (= mischief) → diablura f, travesura f, pillería f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(= mischief)(grober) Unfug
(= black magic)Teufelskunst f
(= extreme wickedness, cruelty)Teufelei f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
Wilson said to himself, "The drop of black blood in her is superstitious; she thinks there's some devilry, some witch business about my glass mystery somewhere; she used to come here with an old horseshoe in her hand; it could have been an accident, but I doubt it."
Perhaps some new devilry of the gods was about to be perpetrated on him.
On the contrary, he rather liked the bird, and, out of devilry, tried to teach him oaths.
And there was a touch of foppery about him, in the enormous white tie and the much-cherished whiskers of the fifties, which was only redeemed by that other touch of devilry that he had shown me in the corridor.
At any rate, his eyes were brilliantly black and sparkling with devilry. They were the mysterious, the unknown, and who was I, a seven-year-old, to analyse them and know their prankishness?
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.
'What fellow, sir!' cried Joe: 'a fellow who has no goodwill to you, and who has the daring and devilry in him of twenty fellows.
Here is a fellow, who, infected by the most pestilent and blasphemous code of devilry that ever was known, abandoned his property to the vilest scum of the earth that ever did murder by wholesale, and you ask me why I am sorry that a man who instructs youth knows him?
Thou art full young, as Sahibs go, for this devilry.'
"You do it at your own peril," he said; "but wouldn't you be an atheist to keep sane in all this devilry?"
But to bring their devilry to sea and fasten on such a man!
Don't you know the devilry of lingering starvation, its exasperating torment, its black thoughts, its somber and brooding ferocity?