1590s, "out of the common or direct way," from Latin devius "out of the way, remote, off the main road," from de via; from de "off" (see de-) + via "way, road" (see via). Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈdiːvi.əs/


  1. cunning or deceiving, not straightforward or honest, not frank
  2. roundabout, circuitous, deviating from the direct or ordinary route
    • 1801, Robert Southey, Thalaba the Destroyer:
      The wandering Arab never sets his tent
      Within her walls; the Shepherd eyes afar
      Her evil towers, and devious drives his flock.
    • 1839, Frederick Marryat, The Phantom Ship:
      Keeping close in to the shore, they discovered, after two hours run, a fresh stream which burst in a cascade from the mountains, and swept its devious course through the jungle, until it poured its tribute into the waters of the Strait.
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