Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


1. Not straightforward; shifty: a devious character.
2. Departing from the correct or accepted way; erring: achieved success by devious means.
3. Deviating from the straight or direct course; roundabout: a devious route.
4. Away from a main road or course; distant or removed.

[From Latin dēvius, out-of-the-way : dē-, de- + via, road; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.]

de′vi·ous·ly adv.
de′vi·ous·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.deviously - in a devious manner; "he got the promotion by behaving deviously"
á útsmoginn hátt
hile ile


[ˈdiːvɪəslɪ] ADV [act, behave] → taimadamente


adv (+vb) → mit List und Tücke


[ˈdiːvɪəslɪ] adv (act) → subdolamente


(ˈdiːviəs) adjective
not direct; not straightforward. We climbed the hill by a devious route; He used devious methods to get what he wanted.
ˈdeviously adverb
ˈdeviousness noun
References in classic literature ?
It was a quiet enough spot--the fork of an old wood-road, on the two branches of which, prolonging themselves deviously forward in the dim moonlight, the sergeants were themselves stationed, a few paces in rear of the line.
The Jubilee Newspaper, which on its Internet site bills itself as the paper of record for the American Christian Patriot, first warns of ``an instigated civil war in America - deviously related to Y2K,'' but then turns to another view.
But what about "Raghead", deviously passed off by royal spin doctors as a jibe against the Taliban enemy, when it was clearly a slur on all Arabs.
Martin is the King of Cryptic and the challenges are frequently deviously worded in the style of an unpredictable crossword.
SIR - The people delighted with themselves for proving pigs have a very high standard of intelligence, deviously hide away from what that intelligence involves when con-fronted with the slaughter house.
However, in anticipation of their problem this column can offer changes which will still deviously get the advertiser's message across.
The CRA reported that the council, through a deviously sounding practice called ``direct confiscation,'' has taken more than $80 million in tax money earmarked for the CRA since the beginning of the decade.
I read where one bank has made a profit of four and a half billion pounds last year, I repeat billions, I could deviously think Government ministers might have shares in the banking trade, but we know this couldn't be
Colourful, cheeky and deviously decadent, Burton goes to town with his characters, costumes and brilliant backgrounds making this a feast for the senses.
Everyone seemed determined not to have a Bac approach, but deviously kept the title, which has caused utter confusion.
The national coach insists the Auld Enemy deviously snatched Leeds youngster Jamie McMaster from a Scotland Under-16 squad and capped him at that level.