Devil's hand
Devil Dev"il, n. [AS. de['o]fol, de['o]ful; akin to G. ?eufel, Goth. diaba['u]lus; all fr. L. diabolus the devil, Gr. ? the devil, the slanderer, fr. ? to slander, calumniate, orig., to throw across; ? across + ? to throw, let fall, fall; cf. Skr. gal to fall. Cf. {Diabolic}.] 1. The Evil One; Satan, represented as the tempter and spiritual of mankind. [1913 Webster]

[Jesus] being forty days tempted of the devil. --Luke iv. 2. [1913 Webster]

That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. --Rev. xii. 9. [1913 Webster]

2. An evil spirit; a demon. [1913 Webster]

A dumb man possessed with a devil. --Matt. ix. 32. [1913 Webster]

3. A very wicked person; hence, any great evil. ``That devil Glendower.'' ``The devil drunkenness.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? --John vi. 70. [1913 Webster]

4. An expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or, ironically, of negation. [Low] [1913 Webster]

The devil a puritan that he is, . . . but a timepleaser. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

5. (Cookery) A dish, as a bone with the meat, broiled and excessively peppered; a grill with Cayenne pepper. [1913 Webster]

Men and women busy in baking, broiling, roasting oysters, and preparing devils on the gridiron. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

6. (Manuf.) A machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton, etc. [1913 Webster]

{Blue devils}. See under {Blue}.

{Cartesian devil}. See under {Cartesian}.

{Devil bird} (Zo["o]l.), one of two or more South African drongo shrikes ({Edolius retifer}, and {Edolius remifer}), believed by the natives to be connected with sorcery.

{Devil may care}, reckless, defiant of authority; -- used adjectively. --Longfellow.

{Devil's apron} (Bot.), the large kelp ({Laminaria saccharina}, and {Laminaria longicruris}) of the Atlantic ocean, having a blackish, leathery expansion, shaped somewhat like an apron.

{Devil's coachhorse}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The black rove beetle ({Ocypus olens}). [Eng.] (b) A large, predacious, hemipterous insect ({Prionotus cristatus}); the wheel bug. [U.S.]

{Devil's darning-needle}. (Zo["o]l.) See under {Darn}, v. t.

{Devil's fingers}, {Devil's hand} (Zo["o]l.), the common British starfish ({Asterias rubens}); -- also applied to a sponge with stout branches. [Prov. Eng., Irish & Scot.]

{Devil's riding-horse} (Zo["o]l.), the American mantis ({Mantis Carolina}).

{The Devil's tattoo}, a drumming with the fingers or feet. ``Jack played the Devil's tattoo on the door with his boot heels.'' --F. Hardman (Blackw. Mag.).

{Devil worship}, worship of the power of evil; -- still practiced by barbarians who believe that the good and evil forces of nature are of equal power.

{Printer's devil}, the youngest apprentice in a printing office, who runs on errands, does dirty work (as washing the ink rollers and sweeping), etc. ``Without fearing the printer's devil or the sheriff's officer.'' --Macaulay.

{Tasmanian devil} (Zo["o]l.), a very savage carnivorous marsupial of Tasmania ({Dasyurus ursinus} syn. {Diabolus ursinus}).

{To play devil with}, to molest extremely; to ruin. [Low] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Devil's apron — Devil Dev il, n. [AS. de[ o]fol, de[ o]ful; akin to G. ?eufel, Goth. diaba[ u]lus; all fr. L. diabolus the devil, Gr. ? the devil, the slanderer, fr. ? to slander, calumniate, orig., to throw across; ? across + ? to throw, let fall, fall; cf. Skr …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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