The Closing Word: Bedevil

The Closing Word: DisapprobationThis week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (buh-DEV-uhl)

1. be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly
2. treat cruelly

From “Bedevil has nothing to do with the eggs you eat on a picnic. Those are just plain deviled. And although, in the 1570s, bedeviled could be taken to mean literally “possessed,” the word no longer involves an actual devil, either. It just applies to people or things that make trouble like a devil would want to do.”

“The deal was bedeviled by title issues, inspection problems, and heated negotiations, but eventually we managed to close.”


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