a) the Devil the most powerful evil spirit in Christianity; Satan
b) (C) any evil spirit: The villagers believed a devil had taken control of his body.
2 PERSON (C) informal someone who behaves very badly, especially a child: Tommy's a little devil!
3 speak/talk of the devil spoken used when someone you have just been talking about walks into the room where you are
4 play/be devil's advocate to pretend that you disagree with something so that there will be a discussion about it
5 be a devil BrE spoken used to persuade someone to do something they are not sure they should do: Go on, be a devil, have another gin and tonic.
6 lucky/poor/silly etc devil spoken someone who is lucky, unlucky, silly etc
7 what/who/why etc the devil? spoken old-fashioned used to show that you are surprised or annoyed: What the devil d'you think you're doing?
8 a devil of a job/mess etc old-fashioned a very unpleasant job, mess etc: We had a devil of a job trying to get the carpet clean again.
9 go to the devil! spoken used to tell someone rudely to go away or stop annoying you
10 have the luck of the devil to be very lucky
11 better the devil you know (than the devil you don't) used to say that it is better to deal with someone or something you know, even if you do not like them, than to deal with someone or something new that might be worse
12 be between the devil and the deep blue sea to be in a difficult situation in which you have to choose between two unpleasant things
13 do sth like the devil old-fashioned to do something very fast or using a lot of force: They rang the bell and ran like the devil.
14 devil take the hindmost used to describe a situation in which people think about their own success and do not care what happens to anyone else

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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