Bedevilment



to torment or harass maliciously or diabolically, as with doubts, distractions, or worries.
to possess, as with a devil; bewitch.
to cause confusion or doubt in; muddle; confound:
an issue bedeviled by prejudices.
to beset or hamper continuously:
a new building bedeviled by elevator failures.
Historical Examples

He felt as in some hideous dream—long-involved—a maze of delusion and bedevilment, from which there was no escape.
Mount Royal, Volume 3 of 3 Mary Elizabeth Braddon

But having entered, the confusion and bedevilment was ten times worse than even in the churchyard itself.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. Various

Scotland is the home of weird, uncanny creatures, who take lovely shapes for the bedevilment of poor weak souls.
Behind A Mask, Or A Woman’s Power A. M. Barnard

Isabelle did not formulate any plan of bedevilment for the Captain, but she watched for opportunities with lynx-eyed attention.
The Cricket Marjorie Cooke

She had helped him—I had his own word for it that at Clockborough her bedevilment of the voters had really put him in.
The Coxon Fund Henry James

verb (transitive) -ils, -illing, -illed (US) -ils, -iling, -iled
to harass or torment
to throw into confusion
to possess, as with a devil
n.

1825, from bedevil + -ment.
v.

1768, “to treat diabolically, abuse,” from be- + verbal use of devil (q.v.). Meaning “to mischievously confuse” is from 1755; that of “to drive frantic” is from 1823. Related: Bedeviled (1570s, in a literal sense, “possessed”); bedeviling.

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