Webster 1913 Edition
That which is devised, or formed by design; a contrivance; an invention; a project; a scheme; often, a scheme to deceive; a stratagem; an artifice.
devicein against Babylon, to destroy it.
Jer. li. 11.
deviceof demanding benevolences.
He disappointeth the
devicesof the crafty.
Job v. 12.
Power of devising; invention; contrivance.
I must have instruments of my own
An emblematic design, generally consisting of one or more figures with a motto, used apart from heraldic bearings to denote the historical situation, the ambition, or the desire of the person adopting it. See
Improperly, an heraldic bearing.
Knights-errant used to distinguish themselves by
deviceson their shields.
A banner with this strange
Anything fancifully conceived.
A spectacle or show.
Beau. & Fl.
Syn. – Contrivance; invention; design; scheme; project; stratagem; shift.
Contrivance. Device implies more of inventive power, and contrivance more of skill and dexterity in execution. A device usually has reference to something worked out for exhibition or show; a contrivance usually respects the arrangement or disposition of things with reference to securing some end. Devices were worn by knights-errant on their shields; contrivances are generally used to promote the practical convenience of life. The word device is often used in a bad sense;
as, a crafty; contrivance is almost always used in a good sense;
as, a useful.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.That which is formed by design, or invented; scheme; artificial contrivance; stratagem; project; sometimes in a good sense; more generally in a bad sense, as artifices are usually employed for bad purposes.
In a good sense:
His device is against Babylon, to destroy it. Jeremiah 51.
In a bad sense:
He disappointeth the devices of the crafty. Job 5.
They imagined a mischievous device. Psalm 212.
2.An emblem intended to represent a family, person, action or quality, with a suitable motto; used in painting, sculpture and heraldry. It consists in a metaphorical similitude between the things representing and represented, as the figure of a plow representing agriculture.
Knights-errant used to distinguish themselves by devices on their shields.
3.Invention; genius; faculty of devising; as a man of noble device.
4.A spectacle or show.