I've noticed a dictionary defines devilment as "wild or bad behaviour that causes trouble" but gives the following example:

eyes blazing with devilment

Does the example fit the definition?


Eyes are said to convey emotion or state of a person. They can be angry, sad, happy, pleading, innocent etc.

In this case, the eyes of the person are wild and wicked.

So yes, the definition fits the sentence.

| improve this answer | |
  • Actually, "devilment" there refers to an intention or desire, not behavior. So the definition fails. – Apollyon Jul 3 '19 at 7:26
  • 1
    @Apollyon It doesn't matter if the eyes reflect the intention to be bad or indicate that you have been bad. It's still the same thing—especially since it's being used figuratively anyway. (As is blazing, unless the eyeballs are literally on fire and smoking). – Jason Bassford Jul 3 '19 at 8:17
  • If the definition is plugged into the example, maybe it'll be clear what goes wrong: "eyes blazing with wild or bad behavior that causes trouble" – Apollyon Jul 3 '19 at 9:06
  • @Apollyon when using metaphors, you never "plug in" the definition directly.If you are adopting such practice, then, as Jason said, blazing would literally mean that the eyes were on fire too – Bella Swan Jul 3 '19 at 10:53
  • So the eyes are causing trouble? – Apollyon Jul 3 '19 at 11:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.