Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of device
Meaning of device by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • 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 .


    device ( plural: devices )

    1. Any piece of equipment made for a particular purpose, especially a mechanical or electrical one .
      There are a number of household devices in a kitchen such as a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, or an electric can opener .
    2. A project or scheme, often designed to deceive; a stratagem; an artifice.
    3. ( rhetoric ) A technique that an author or speaker uses to evoke an emotional response in the audience; a rhetorical device .
    4. ( 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 Chapter I, Article III: Enumeration of the Indian Tribes .
        The devices of these savages are the serpent, the Deer, and the Small Acorn .
    5. ( law ) An image used in whole or in part as a trademark or service mark .
    6. ( printing ) An image or logo denoting official or proprietary authority or provenience.
    7. ( obsolete ) A spectacle or show .
    8. ( obsolete ) Opinion; decision .
    9. ( obsolete ) Power of devising; invention; contrivance.


Explanation of device by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. any clever maneuver

    2. he would stoop to any device to win a point
    3. an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose

    4. the device is small enough to wear on your wrist
      a device intended to conserve water
    5. an emblematic design ( especially in heraldry )

    6. he was recognized by the device on his shield
    7. any ornamental pattern or design ( as in embroidery )

    8. something in an artistic work designed to achieve a particular effect

    Definition of device by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Device n. [OE. devis, devise, will, intention, opinion, invention, fr. F. devis architect's plan and estimates ( in OF., division, plan, wish ), devise device ( in sense 3 ), in OF. also, division, wish, last will, fr. deviser. See Devise, v. t., and cf. Devise, n.]
      1. That which is devised, or formed by design; a contrivance; an invention; a project; a scheme; often, a scheme to deceive; a stratagem; an artifice.

      His device in against Babylon, to destroy it. Jer. li. 11.

      Their recent device of demanding benevolences. Hallam.

      He disappointeth the devices of the crafty. Job v. 12.

      2. Power of devising; invention; contrivance.

      I must have instruments of my own device. Landor.

      3. An emblematic design, generally consisting of one or more figures with a motto, used apart from heraldic bearings to denote the historical situation, the ambition, or the desire of the person adopting it. See Cognizance. Improperly, an heraldic bearing.

      Knights-errant used to distinguish themselves by devices on their shields. Addison.

      A banner with this strange device -

      Excelsior. Longfellow.

      4. Anything fancifully conceived. Shak.

      5. A spectacle or show. [Obs.] Beau. & Fl.

      6. Opinion; decision. [Obs.] Rom. of R.

      7. any artifactual object designed to perform an action or process, with or without an operator in attendance.

      Syn. -- Contrivance; invention; design; scheme; project; stratagem; shift. -- Device, Contrivance. Device implies more of inventive power, and contrivance more of skill and dexterity in execution. A device usually has reference to something worked out for exhibition or show; a contrivance usually respects the arrangement or disposition of things with reference to securing some end. Devices were worn by knights-errant on their shields; contrivances are generally used to promote the practical convenience of life. The word device is often used in a bad sense; as, “a crafty device”; contrivance is almost always used in a good sense; as, “a useful contrivance”.