• Device


    • IPA: /dəˈvaɪs/
    • Rhymes: -aɪs


    Old French devis, from Latin divisus, past participle of dividere ("to divide"), thus originally, when goods were being divided among people, a mark put on each item to say who was getting what.

    Full definition of device



    (plural devices)
    1. Any piece of equipment made for a particular purpose, especially a mechanical or electrical one.
      • 1949. Geneva Convention on Road TrafficEvery cycle shall be equipped with: ... (b) an audible warning device consisting of a bell ...
      • 2013-06-01, A better waterworks, An artificial kidney these days still means a refrigerator-sized dialysis machine. Such devices mimic the way real kidneys cleanse blood and eject impurities and surplus water as urine.
    2. There are a number of household devices in a kitchen such as a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, or an electric can opener.
    3. A project or scheme, often designed to deceive; a stratagem; an artifice.
      • Authorized Version|Jeremiah|51|11His device is against Babylon, to destroy it.
      • Authorized Version|Job|5|12He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
      • 1827 Hallam, Henry, , HarperTheir recent device of demanding benevolences.
      • 2012-03, w, Pixels or Perish, Drawings and pictures are more than mere ornaments in scientific discourse. Blackboard sketches, geological maps, diagrams of molecular structure, astronomical photographs, MRI images, the many varieties of statistical charts and graphs: These pictorial devices are indispensable tools for presenting evidence, for explaining a theory, for telling a story.
    4. (rhetoric) A technique that an author or speaker uses to evoke an emotional response in the audience; a rhetorical device.
    5. (heraldry)(heraldry) A motto, emblem, or other mark used to distinguish the bearer from others. A device differs from a badge or cognizance primarily because as it is a personal distinction, and not a badge borne by members of the same house successively.
      • 1736. O'Callaghan, Edmund Bailey. The Documentary History of the State of New York .The devices of these savages are the serpent, the Deer, and the Small Acorn.
    6. (archaic) Power of devising; invention; contrivance.
      • 1824. Landor, Walter Savage "King Henry IV and Sir Arnold Savage" from Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen, page 44Moreover I must have instruments of mine own device, weighty, and exceeding costly
      • 1976. The Eagles, "Hotel California"And she said,"We are all prisoners here,Of our own device"
    7. (legal) An image used in whole or in part as a trademark or service mark.
    8. (printing) An image or logo denoting official or proprietary authority or provenience.
      • 1943 United States Post Office Department. A Description of United States Postage Stamps
        Issued by the Post Office Department from July 1, 1847, to April 1, 1945 sic
        , USGPO, Washington, p1:Prior to the issuance of the first stamps, letters accepted by postmasters for dispatch were marked "Paid" by means of pen and ink or hand stamps of various designs. ... To facilitate the handling of mail matter, some postmasters provided special stamps or devices for use on letters as evidence of the prepayment of postage.
    9. (obsolete) A spectacle or show.
    10. (obsolete) Opinion; decision.


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