1. [syn: blues, blue devils, megrims, vapors, vapours]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.
[Jesus] being forty days tempted of the devil.
--Luke iv. 2.
That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which
deceiveth the whole world. --Rev. xii. 9.
2. An evil spirit; a demon.
A dumb man possessed with a devil. --Matt. ix.
3. A very wicked person; hence, any great evil. "That devil
Glendower." "The devil drunkenness." --Shak.
Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a
devil? --John vi. 70.
4. An expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or,
ironically, of negation. [Low]
The devil a puritan that he is, . . . but a
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there. --Pope.
5. (Cookery) A dish, as a bone with the meat, broiled and
excessively peppered; a grill with Cayenne pepper.
Men and women busy in baking, broiling, roasting
oysters, and preparing devils on the gridiron. --Sir
6. (Manuf.) A machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton,
Blue devils. See under Blue.
Cartesian devil. See under Cartesian.
Devil bird (Zool.), 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
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. (Zool.)
(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. (Zool.) See under Darn, v. t.
Devil's fingers, Devil's hand (Zool.), the common British
starfish (Asterias rubens); -- also applied to a sponge
with stout branches. [Prov. Eng., Irish & Scot.]
Devil's riding-horse (Zool.), the American mantis (Mantis
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 (Zool.), a very savage carnivorous
marsupial of Tasmania (Dasyurus ursinus syn. Diabolus
To play devil with, to molest extremely; to ruin. [Low]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Blue \Blue\ (bl[=u]), a. [Compar. Bluer (bl[=u]"[~e]r);
superl. Bluest.] [OE. bla, blo, blew, blue, livid, black,
fr. Icel.bl[=a]r livid; akin to Dan. blaa blue, Sw. bl[*a],
D. blauw, OHG. bl[=a]o, G. blau; but influenced in form by F.
bleu, from OHG. bl[=a]o.]
1. Having the color of the clear sky, or a hue resembling it,
whether lighter or darker; as, the deep, blue sea; as blue
as a sapphire; blue violets. "The blue firmament."
2. Pale, without redness or glare, -- said of a flame; hence,
of the color of burning brimstone, betokening the presence
of ghosts or devils; as, the candle burns blue; the air
was blue with oaths.
3. Low in spirits; melancholy; as, to feel blue.
4. Suited to produce low spirits; gloomy in prospect; as,
thongs looked blue. [Colloq.]
5. Severe or over strict in morals; gloom; as, blue and sour
religionists; suiting one who is over strict in morals;
inculcating an impracticable, severe, or gloomy mortality;
as, blue laws.
6. Literary; -- applied to women; -- an abbreviation of
The ladies were very blue and well informed.
Blue asbestus. See Crocidolite.
Blue black, of, or having, a very dark blue color, almost
Blue blood. See under Blood.
Blue buck (Zool.), a small South African antelope
(Cephalophus pygm[ae]us); also applied to a larger
species ([AE]goceras leucoph[ae]us); the blaubok.
Blue cod (Zool.), the buffalo cod.
Blue crab (Zool.), the common edible crab of the Atlantic
coast of the United States (Callinectes hastatus).
Blue curls (Bot.), a common plant (Trichostema
dichotomum), resembling pennyroyal, and hence called also
Blue devils, apparitions supposed to be seen by persons
suffering with delirium tremens; hence, very low
spirits. "Can Gumbo shut the hall door upon blue devils,
or lay them all in a red sea of claret?" --Thackeray.
Blue gage. See under Gage, a plum.
Blue gum, an Australian myrtaceous tree (Eucalyptus
globulus), of the loftiest proportions, now cultivated in
tropical and warm temperate regions for its timber, and as
a protection against malaria. The essential oil is
beginning to be used in medicine. The timber is very
useful. See Eucalyptus.
Blue jack, Blue stone, blue vitriol; sulphate of copper.
Blue jacket, a man-of war's man; a sailor wearing a naval
Blue jaundice. See under Jaundice.
Blue laws, a name first used in the eighteenth century to
describe certain supposititious laws of extreme rigor
reported to have been enacted in New Haven; hence, any
puritanical laws. [U. S.]
Blue light, a composition which burns with a brilliant blue
flame; -- used in pyrotechnics and as a night signal at
sea, and in military operations.
Blue mantle (Her.), one of the four pursuivants of the
English college of arms; -- so called from the color of
his official robes.
Blue mass, a preparation of mercury from which is formed
the blue pill. --McElrath.
Blue mold or Blue mould, the blue fungus (Aspergillus
glaucus) which grows on cheese. --Brande & C.
(a) a Monday following a Sunday of dissipation, or itself
given to dissipation (as the Monday before Lent).
(b) a Monday considered as depressing because it is a
workday in contrast to the relaxation of the weekend.
Blue ointment (Med.), mercurial ointment.
Blue Peter (British Marine), a blue flag with a white
square in the center, used as a signal for sailing, to
recall boats, etc. It is a corruption of blue repeater,
one of the British signal flags.
Blue pill. (Med.)
(a) A pill of prepared mercury, used as an aperient, etc.
(b) Blue mass.
(a) The ribbon worn by members of the order of the Garter;
-- hence, a member of that order.
(b) Anything the attainment of which is an object of great
ambition; a distinction; a prize. "These
[scholarships] were the --blue ribbon of the college."
(c) The distinctive badge of certain temperance or total
abstinence organizations, as of the --Blue ribbon
Blue ruin, utter ruin; also, gin. [Eng. Slang] --Carlyle.
Blue spar (Min.), azure spar; lazulite. See Lazulite.
Blue thrush (Zool.), a European and Asiatic thrush
Blue verditer. See Verditer.
Blue vitriol (Chem.), sulphate of copper, a violet blue
crystallized salt, used in electric batteries, calico
Blue water, the open ocean.
Big Blue, the International Business Machines corporation.
[Wall Street slang.] PJC
To look blue, to look disheartened or dejected.
True blue, genuine and thorough; not modified, nor mixed;
not spurious; specifically, of uncompromising
Presbyterianism, blue being the color adopted by the
For his religion . . .
'T was Presbyterian, true blue. --Hudibras.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a state of depression; "he had a bad case of the blues"
[syn: blues, blue devils, megrims, vapors,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
26 Moby Thesaurus words for "blue devils":
blahs, blue Johnnies, blues, dismals, dods, doldrums, dolefuls,
dorts, dumps, frumps, grumps, megrims, mopes, mulligrubs, mumps,
pink elephants, pink spiders, pouts, snakes, sulks, sullens,
the beezie-weezies, the heebie-jeebies, the jimjams,
the screaming meemies, the shakes