the devil

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Related to the devil: Devil worship

(in) the devil

Used as an intensifier after a question word (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to express extreme confusion, surprise, or aggravation. And just how the devil am I supposed to have three reports done by 9 AM tomorrow? Where in the devil did you find that rusty old car? Who the devil is making all that noise?
See also: devil

the devil

1. Something that is particularly frustrating or annoying to deal with or handle. A: "This project turned into the devil to finish." B: "I know. I heard the printer stopped working right in the middle of everything!" A dollhouse is the very devil to assemble on Christmas morning. This cake is always the devil to get out of the pan, so it always ends up looking like a mess by the time I'm done.
2. A severe scolding; the brunt of someone's anger, scorn, or wrath. If I get home past curfew again, I'm really going to catch the devil from my parents! The boss gave me the devil for messing up the Anderson account.
3. Used as an intensifier. Who the devil is making all that noise? Goodness, it is as hot as the devil outside today!
See also: devil
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


Fig. a severe scolding. (*Typically: get ~; Catch ~; give someone ~.) Bill is always getting the devil about something. I'm late. If I don't get home soon, I'll catch the devil!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

the ˈdevil

(old-fashioned) very difficult or unpleasant: These berries are the devil to pick because they’re so small.
See also: devil
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
While defending himself in court, Abdallah blamed the devil for making him commit the crime, saying he was a good person.
It also needs "a very intimate method of transfer, because tumor cells are like body cells; they desiccate (dry out) very quickly," says Jones, "so they won't live for very long outside the host." The devils' crankiness helps with that.
Andrew Sharman, Manager of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, a joint federal and Tasmanian government initiative, said the aim of the first release of devils onto Maria Island is to observe and monitor the role that devils play in the landscape and the ecology of the area and the impact their introduction has on other native species which have not encountered the devil for many generations.
With the emergence of Protestantism, Johnstone sees a "subtle realignment" that significantly transformed Protestant understanding and experience of the devil (106).
The Devil Rays also visited the Spinal Cord Injury Center, handing out Wade Boggs and Carl Crawford figurines and foam Devil Rays baseballs during their three-hour visit.
Literature has recruited this symbol in tales of meeting the devil at the crossroads at midnight or embracing the Faustian bargain to barter the soul in return for what is mortally desirable.
And another strange companion mingles repeatedly with the Jewish crowd: the devil. Clothed in black, with a gothic pale face and steely cold eyes, the androgynous devil moves among other malevolent onlookers.
In Matthew and Mark, Jesus is driven into the wilderness and tempted by the devil immediately following his baptism.
Anyone who survives the Devil's Triangle with no penalty strokes receives a certificate proclaiming the feat.
A considerable body of scholarship on the devil in the Middle Ages has been published in recent decades.
Point 15, he says, also solemnly declares that one should not carry out exorcisms if one is not certain of the devil's presence.
He told the Cape Cod Times that allowing the symbol gives the devil "a road into our children's lives."
The popularity of the idea of the devil has waxed and waned through the ages.
The struggle between the "calling" of the blues and the calling of gospel is frequently understood as the struggle for the souls of individuals; gospel artists get filled with the Holy Spirit in church, while blues artists make deals with the devil at desolate crossroads.
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