• IPA: /dəˈvaɪs/

device (plural devices)

  1. Any piece of equipment made for a particular purpose, especially a mechanical or electrical one.
    • 1949. Geneva Convention on Road Traffic Chapter VI. Provisions Applicable to Cycles in International Traffic
      Every cycle shall be equipped with: [...] (b) an audible warning device consisting of a bell [...]
    There are a number of household devices in a kitchen such as a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, or an electric can opener.
  2. (computer hardware) A peripheral device; an item of hardware.
  3. A project or scheme, often designed to deceive; a stratagem; an artifice.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Jeremiah 51:11 ↗:
      His device is against Babylon, to destroy it.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Job 5:12 ↗:
      He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
    • 1827 Hallam, Henry, The English Constitution, Harper
      Their recent device of demanding benevolences.
  4. (Ireland) An improvised explosive device, home-made bomb
  5. (rhetoric) A technique that an author or speaker uses to evoke an emotional response in the audience; a rhetorical device.
  6. (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.
  7. (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 44
      Moreover 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"
  8. (legal) An image used in whole or in part as a trademark or service mark.
  9. (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.
  10. (obsolete) A spectacle or show.
  11. (obsolete) Opinion; decision.
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