Devious describes someone who tends to lie and to trick other people. Devious credit card companies lure younger and younger people into debt with offers of low interest rates and even just free t-shirts.

Devious sometimes just describes a path that is not direct, a meaning that can be traced to the Latin adjective devius, "out of the way," formed from the prefix de-, "off" plus via, "way, road." The related English verb deviate means to do something different or unexpected, and the adjective deviant describes behavior that is not considered normal or morally correct.

Definitions of devious
  1. adjective
    deviating from a straight course
    “a scenic but devious route”
    synonyms: circuitous, roundabout
    not direct in spatial dimension; not leading by a straight line or course to a destination
  2. adjective
    indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; misleading
    “used devious means to achieve success”
    synonyms: oblique
    extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action
  3. adjective
    characterized by insincerity or deceit; evasive
    “a devious character”
    synonyms: shifty
    untrustworthy, untrusty
    not worthy of trust or belief
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘devious'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up devious for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer