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Bedevil meaning

Verb: bedevil

Pronunciation:(bi’de-vul)

Bedevil meaning:

  • Harass persistently in cruel or annoying way

Synonyms: torment, rag, crucify, dun, frustrate

  • Be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly

Synonyms: confuse, throw, fox, befuddle, fuddle, confound, discombobulate, perplex, vex, stick, get, puzzle, mystify, baffle, beat, pose, bewilder, flummox, stupefy, nonplus, gravel, dumbfound

bedevil and bedevil meaning.
His business jargon bedeviled him. — Image by © Laughing Stock/Corbis

Derived forms: bedeviled, bedevilled, bedeviling, bedevilling, bedevils
Quotations:

  1. Anna Quindlen – Our love of lockstep is our greatest curse, the source of all that bedevils us. It is the source of homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism, terrorism, bigotry of every variety and hue, because it tells us there is one right way to do things, to look, to behave, to feel, when the only right way is to feel your heart hammering inside you and to listen to what its timpani is saying.
  2. Martin Amis – America is proud of what it does to its writers, the way it breaks and bedevils them, rendering them deluded or drunken or dead by their own hands. To overpower its tender spirits makes America feel tough. Careers are generally short.
  3. Alice Walker – The good ones who listen to women to children and the poor die too soon,their lives bedeviled by opposition:our hearts grieve for them.This was the world my father knew.A poor man he saw good men come and mostly go;leaving behind the stranded and bereft.People of hopes, dreams, and so much hard work!Yearning for a future suddenly fore closed. But today you write me all is well even though the admirable Hugo Chavez has died this afternoon.Never again will we hear that voice of reasoned anger and disgust of passionate vision and of triumph.This is true.But what a lot he did in his 58 years!You say.What a mighty ruckus Hugo Chavez made!This is also true.Thank you for reminding me.That though life -this never-ending loop -has passed us by today but carried off in death a hero of the masses it is his spirit of fiercely outspoken cariño that is not lost.That inheritance has gone instantly into the people to whom he listened and it is there that we will expect it to rise as early as tomorrow;and there that we will encounter it always soon again.
  4. Christopher Hitchens – It comes as no surprise to find Norman Mailer embracing [in the book On God] a form of Manicheanism, pitting the forces of light and darkness against each other in a permanent stand-off, with humanity as the battlefield. (When asked if Jesus is part of this battle, he responds rather loftily that he thinks it is a distinct possibility.) But it is at points like this that he talks as if all the late-night undergraduate talk sessions on the question of theism had become rolled into one. ‘How can we not face up to the fact that if God is All-Powerful, He cannot be All-Good. Or She cannot be All-Good.’Mailer says that questions such as this have bedevilled ‘theologians’, whereas it would be more accurate to say that such questions, posed by philosophers, have attempted to put theologians out of business. A long exchange on the probability of reincarnation known to Mailer sometimes as “karmic reassignment”)manages to fall slightly below the level of those undergraduate talk sessions. The Manichean stand-off leads Mailer, in closing, to speculate on what God might desire politically and to say: ‘In different times, the heavens may have been partial to monarchy, to communism, and certainly the Lord was interested in democracy, in capitalism. As was the Devil! I think it was at this point that I decided I would rather remember Mailer as the author of Harlot’s Ghost and The Armies of the Night.
  5. Charles Dickens – The lawyers have twisted it into such a state of bedevilment that the original merits of the case have long disappeared from the face of the earth. It’s about a will and the trusts under a will — or it was once. It’s about nothing but costs now. We are always appearing, and disappearing, and swearing, and interrogating, and filing, and cross-filing, and arguing, and sealing, and motioning, and referring, and reporting, and revolving about the Lord Chancellor and all his satellites, and equitably waltzing ourselves off to dusty death, about costs. That’s the great question. All the rest, by some extraordinary means, has melted away.
  6. Kathryn Schulz – There is  a problem that bedevils all of us as members of communities of believers. I call this problem our disagreement deficit, and it comes in four parts. First, our communities expose us to disproportionate support for our own ideas. Second, they shield us from the disagreement of outsiders. Third, they cause us to disregard whatever outside disagreement we do encounter. Finally, they quash the development of disagreement from within.
  7. Charles Dickens – Put the case that he lived in an atmosphere of evil, and that all he saw of children was their being generated in great numbers for certain destruction. Put the case that he often saw children solemnly tried at a criminal bar, where they were held up to be seen; put the case that he habitually knew of their being imprisoned, whipped, transported, neglected, cast out, qualified in all ways for the hangman, and growing up to be hanged. Put the case that pretty nigh all the children he saw in his daily business life he had reason to look upon as so much spawn, to develop into the fish that were to come to his net,––to be prosecuted, defended, forsworn, made orphans, bedevilled somehow.
  8. Mark A. Noll – In appealing for Christian scholarship, the point is not primarily academic respectability, and certainly not the mindless pursuit of publication for its own sake that bedevils the modern university. The point is rather that the comprehensive reality of Christianity itself demands specifically Christian consideration of the world we inhabit, whether that consideration is of social theory, the history of science, other historical changes, the body, the arts, literature, or more.
  9. Justin Cronin – And how am I to face the odds Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
  10. Grace Burrowes – The greatest plague ever to bedevil mortal man, the greatest threat to his peace, the most fiendish source of undeserved humility is his sister, and spinster sisters are the worst of a bad lot.

Sample sentences:

  1. Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born – the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people’s experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things. That which, in the language of religion, is called “this world” is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as it were, petrified by language.
  2. To keep something, you must take care of it. More, you must understand just what sort of care it requires. You must know the rules and abide by them. She could do that. She had been doing it all the months, in the writing of her letters to him. There had been rules to be learned in that matter, and the first of them was the hardest: never say to him what you want him to say to you. Never tell him how sadly you miss him, how it grows no better, how each day without him is sharper than the day before. Set down for him the gay happenings about you, bright little anecdotes, not invented, necessarily, but attractively embellished. Do not bedevil him with the pinings of your faithful heart because he is your husband, your man, your love. For you are writing to none of these. You are writing to a soldier.
  3. Trying to justify a world we don’t hold all the answers to is what bedevils the best of us. Sometimes it’s better just to accept that things are as we see them.
  4. The Laws Of God, The Laws Of Man the laws of God, the laws of man, he may keep that will and can;Not I: Let God and man decree laws for themselves and not for me;And if my ways are not as theirs, let them mind their own affairs.Their deeds I judge and much condemn,Yet when did I make laws for them?Please yourselves, Say I, and they need only look the other way.But no, they will not; they must still wrest their neighbor to their will,And make me dance as they desire with jail and gallows and hell fire. And how am I to face the odds of man’s bedevilment and God’s?I, a stranger and afraid in a world I never made.They will be master, right or wrong;Though both are foolish, both are strong.And since, my soul, we cannot fly to Saturn nor to Mercury,Keep we must, if keep we can these foreign laws of God and man.
  5. Women, on the other hand, had to wield their intellects like a scythe, hacking away against the stubborn underbrush of low expectations. A woman who worked in the central computing pools was one step removed from the research, and the engineers’ assignments sometimes lacked the context to give the computer much knowledge about the afterlife of the numbers that bedeviled her days. She might spend weeks calculating a pressure distribution without knowing what kind of plane was being tested or whether the analysis that depended on her math had resulted in significant conclusions. The work of most of the women, like that of the Friden, Marchant, or Monroe computing machines they used, was anonymous. Even a woman who had worked closely with an engineer on the content of a research report was rarely rewarded by seeing her name alongside his on the final publication. Why would the computers have the same desire for recognition that they did? many engineers figured. They were women, after all. As
  6. am fully convinced that it is impossible for a woman, even if she were born close to a throne, to acquire before the age of five-and-twenty the encyclopaedic knowledge of trifles, the practice of manoeuvring, the important small things, the musical tones and harmony of coloring, the angelic bedevilments and innocent cunning, the speech and the silence, the seriousness and the banter, the wit and the obtuseness, the diplomacy and the ignorance which make up the perfect lady.
  7. 1976. The Bicentennial. In the laundromat, you want for the time on your coins to run out. Through the porthole of the dryer, you watch your bedeviled towels and sheets leap and fall. The radio station piped in from the ceiling plays slow, sad Motown; it encircles you with the desperate hopefulness of a boy at a dance, and it makes you cry. When you get back to your apartment, dump everything on your bed. Your mother is knitting crookedly: red, white, and blue. Kiss her hello. Say: “Sure was warm in the place.” She will seem not to hear you.
  8. Youngish artists have a way of being melancholy. It may be that this is merely a symptom of the distress they feel at the absence of definition. They have no very distinct outline either of themselves or of the abstractions that bedevil them. They are, in short, likely to be a bit baffled.
  9. In 1908, the prolific Christian apologist, novelist and essayist G. K. Chesterton faced a similar worry about the use of humility to forestall argument. “Humility,” he wrote, “was largely meant as a restraint upon the arrogance and infinity of the appetites of man.”28 For anyone to enjoy the grandeur and largeness of the world, “he must be always making himself small.” But Chesterton worried that humility had moved from “the organ of ambition” to “the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.” Instead of true humility, one mayassert oneself, but doubt “what he ought not doubt-the Divine Reason.”29 Chesterton frets that “the new humility” might give up on finding truth through reason entirely.30 Indeed, misplaced humility continues to bedevil discourse a hundred years after Chesterton’s musings.31 Certainty is no vice, as long as it is grounded in clear and cogent arguments, is held with grace, and is willing to entertain counterarguments sincerely.
  10. Passage Four: From Functional Manager to Business Manager This leadership passage is often the most satisfying as well as the most challenging of a manager’s career, and it’s mission-critical in organizations. Business mangers usually receive significant autonomy, which people with leadership instincts find liberating. They also are able to see a clear link between their efforts and marketplace results. At the same time, this is a sharp turn; it requires a major shift in skills, time applications, and work values. It’s not simply a matter of people becoming more strategic and cross-functional in their thinking (though it’s important to continue developing the abilities rooted in the previous level). Now they are in charge of integrating functions, whereas before they simply had to understand and work with other functions. But the biggest shift is from looking at plans and proposals functionally (Can we do it technically, professionally, or physically?) to a profit perspective (Will we make any money if we do this?) and to a long-term view (Is the profitability result sustainable?). New business managers must change the way they think in order to be successful. There are probably more new and unfamiliar responsibilities here than at other levels. For people who have been in only one function for their entire career, a business manager position represents unexplored territory; they must suddenly become responsible for many unfamiliar functions and outcomes. Not only do they have to learn to manage different functions, but they also need to become skilled at working with a wider variety of people than ever before; they need to become more sensitive to functional diversity issues and communicating clearly and effectively. Even more difficult is the balancing act between future goals and present needs and making trade-offs between the two. Business managers must meet quarterly profit, market share, product, and people targets, and at the same time plan for goals three to five years into the future. The paradox of balancing short-term and long-term thinking is one that bedevils many managers at this turn—and why one of the requirements here is for thinking time. At this level, managers need to stop doing every second of the day and reserve time for reflection and analysis. When business managers don’t make this turn fully, the leadership pipeline quickly becomes clogged. For example, a common failure at this level is not valuing (or not effectively using) staff functions. Directing and energizing finance, human resources, legal, and other support groups are crucial business manager responsibilities. When managers don’t understand or appreciate the contribution of support staff, these staff people don’t deliver full performance. When the leader of the business demeans or diminishes their roles, staff people deliver halfhearted efforts; they can easily become energy-drainers. Business managers must learn to trust, accept advice, and receive feedback from all functional managers, even though they may never have experienced these functions personally.
  11. To be fair, if we had married then, who knows what would have become of us? I doubt I would have liked your running about the country as a spy, leaving me alone for weeks at a time. And I daresay you would have had trouble concentrating on your work for worrying about me.”His grateful smile showed that he appreciated her attempt to mitigate his betrayal.“Of course, later you could have well come after me. Once you established your business. While I was still un-betrothed. Why didn’t you?”“I don’t suppose you would accept rampant idiocy as a reason?”“I would. If I really thought it were the reason.” When he stiffened, she added archly, “You aren’t generally an idiot. Daft and a tad overbearing, yes, but not an idiot.”A sigh escaped him. He leaned past her to pull the curtain open just enough so he could keep an eye on the street.When it looked as if he might not answer, she added, “Tristan thinks you didn’t come after me because you were afraid that I couldn’t love you.”He cast her a startled glance. “You told Tristan the truth about us?”She winced. “And Lisette and Max. Sorry. Tristan sort of forced it out of me.”“Well, that explains why Max and Lisette were willing to bring you here in the midst of such a crucial investigation. They’ve been pressing me for a long time to give you another chance. Because they thought you betrayed me.”Grabbing her hands, he gazed down at them with a haunted look. “And I suppose there’s some truth to my brother’s words. But I also didn’t come after you because that would have been a tacit admission that I’d made a mistake. That in so doing, I’d ruined our lives. I was afraid if I admitted I’d been wrong, then it had all been for nothing. I’d sacrificed my happiness–your happiness–for nothing.”“Oh, Dom,” she whispered and squeezed his hands.“A part of me also thought if I didn’t approach you at all, there was still a chance we could be together again. But if I asked and you said no–or worse yet, said that you no longer cared about me–it would be over for good. As long as I didn’t ask, there was always hope. And hope is what kept me going.”A muscle flexed in his jaw. “Until you got engaged. That quashed my hope. It was what I’d told myself I wanted for you. Because it proved that I’d been right to put you aside.”He lifted his gaze to hers. “Unfortunately, being right was cold comfort when it meant I’d lost you for good. By the time you came to me that day at Rathmoor Park, I was in a very dark state. I was resigning myself to a lifetime of loneliness, of wanting you and not having you.”“You would have let me marry Edwin?” she said incredulously. “Even though you still loved me?”“You were still going to marry him, weren’t you?” he countered. “Knowing that you still loved me.”“True.” She attempted a smile. “I would have done it just to bedevil you.”“No doubt,” he said dryly.“But it would have been a mistake, and I’d have been miserable.”He pressed a kiss to their joined hands. “Then I suppose we should really thank Nancy for her shenanigans. Or else we’d still be separate and miserable.
  12. She was surprised when the major squatted down to help, but she wouldn’t meet his eyes. “What’s your name?” he asked. Lily flung the last of the silverware onto the tray with a clatter. “It’ll be mud if I don’t get back to the kitchen and pick up my orders,” she snapped. The major took the heavy tray and stood with a sort of rolling grace while Lily scrambled inelegantly back to her feet. Just as she reached out to take the tray back someone pinched her hard on the bottom, and everything cascaded back to the floor again. Lily cried out, spinning around in search of the culprit. “Who did that?” she demanded. The unshaven, unwashed faces around her fairly glowed with innocence. It was obvious that no one was going to admit to the crime. The major cleared his throat, and the troops, so rowdy only an instant before, immediately fell silent. “That’ll be enough,” he said with quiet authority. “The next man who bedevils this woman will spend his leave time in the stockade. Is that understood?” “Yes, sir,” the men answered in rousing unison. One picked up Lily’s tray and handed it to her, brimming with shattered plates and cups and dirty silverware. She turned in a whirl of calico and stormed away, remembering the man who’d come into her mother’s life years before and persuaded Kathleen to send Lily and her sisters west on the orphan train. Soldiers. They were all alike. In
  13. The theory-practice dichotomy that still bedevils many a theological curriculum serves neither seminary nor church. There is a debilitating dichotomy between what Christians believe (doctrine) and how they live their lives (discipleship).
  14. Jeremy fixed her with a dark look, full of reproach. A hot blush singed the tips of her opal-adorned ears. For a moment, Lucy felt as though she were sitting in the breakfast room wearing only her nightgown—or less. But if he meant to shame her, he would be sorely disappointed. Her lips tingled, and she slowly wet them with her tongue before flashing him a bold grin. He quickly looked away. Oh, what fun it was to vex him. He made it so easy to do. Hunting and fishing were all well and good, but truly, Jemmy-baiting had always been her favorite autumn sport. Lucy viewed his staid countenance as an unending challenge. A smooth, thick-shelled egg that begged to be cracked. Any rearrangement of his features constituted a victory, be it a wince, a scowl, or that rarest of expressions—a smile. A smile that showed teeth counted double.Last night had shown her an entirely new way to bedevil Jeremy Trescott. Not with girlish pranks, but with womanly wiles. Oh, yes. She‟d cracked the egg last night, but good. His expression of befuddled desire was far more amusing than a wince or a scowl, or even a smile that showed teeth. That last kiss had to count at least ten.She lifted her cup of chocolate to her lips. Closing her eyes, she pressed her tongue against the cool china rim, remembering the power of a proper kiss. Drinking in the hot, sweet richness, feeling delicious warmth spread down her throat and pool in her belly. And lower.She sighed into the cup. If Jeremy‟s kiss could rival chocolate, Lucy shivered to imagine how it would be to kiss.
  15. mathematician Steven Strogatz puts it . In every case, these feats of synchrony occur spontaneously, almost as if nature has an eerie yearning for order. And that raises a profound mystery: Scientists have long been baffled by the existence of spontaneous order in the universe. The laws of thermodynamics seem to dictate the opposite, that nature should inexorably degenerate toward a state of greater disorder, greater entropy. Yet all around us we see magnificent structures that have somehow managed to assemble themselves. This enigma bedevils all of science today.2
  16. The year 1945 in this sense marked the origin of a rivalry between the United States and China’s Communists that, like a recurring illness, has always reinstated itself, and has bedeviled the relations between the two sides even after periods of near-rhapsodic warmth and declarations of common interest, during which the suspicions and animosities of the past seem to have been put permanently to rest.
  17. I’m so bedeviled by my own ambitions that it never occurred to me that a clouded mind is a recipe for disaster or, that outside my office, there is an entire world full of colors and possibilities. To me, there is only one thing that matters: I have to reach a point where I can finally boast to myself and the whole world that I made it.
  18. The main reason why serious historical studies of the Rosicrucian manifestos and their influence have hitherto been on the whole lacking is no doubt because the whole subject has been bedevilled by enthusiasts for secret societies. There is a vast literature on Rosicrucianism which assumes the existence of a secret society, founded by Christian Rosencreutz, and having a continuous existence up to modern times. In the vague and inaccurate world of so-called ‘occultist’ writing this assumption has produced a kind of literature which deservedly sinks below the notice of the serious historian. And when, as if often the case, the misty discussion of ‘Rosicrucians’ and their history becomes involved with the masonic myths, the enquirer feels that he is sinking helplessly into a bottomless bog.
  19. Embarrassing ourselves in front of strangers is literally one of the worst things that can happen to us. It’s in the slot where polio used to be. Awkwardness, rejection, missing out. We’ve conquered everything else and these constants of human life are all that remain to bedevil us.
  20. If we understand the signals they are giving us, middle school kids can be fun and adventurous. If wse can find it in our hearts to overlook some of their quirky and mysterious behaviors, we can find them to be energetic and curious about how the world works around them. If we see the world as they view it, we can take their hand and guide them across the narrow bridges and frightening valleys they see sprawling before them. And finally, if we can reveal the patience to talk with them about the issues that confuse and bedevil them, we can find a world open for discussion and journey.
  21. By providing consistent and practical guideposts and long-term data analysis that tracks whether educational programs actually help students learn Common Core Standards are a long-awaited first step to closing the talent gap that bedevil college admissions officers and employers alike.
  22. Strict online privacy laws in the EU continue to bedevil American tech companies.
  23. Antonio Conte has been on the run from the Chelsea question but it is sure to bedevil him in Lyon in the shape of Radja Nainggolan.
  24. Bad weather continues to bedevil the around-the-world flight of the Solar Impulse 2.