verb (used with object), be·dev·iled, be·dev·il·ing or (especially British) be·dev·illed, be·dev·il·ling.
- 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.
verb -ils, -illing or -illed or US -ils, -iling or -iled (tr)
- to harass or torment
- to throw into confusion
- to possess, as with a devil
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.