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To play devil with


  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To play devil with to molest extremely; to ruin.
    • ***


  • R. Buckminster Fuller
    “Those who play with the devil's toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.”


In literature:

And you must promise not to blame me, if I fall and play the devil with the whole thing.
"St. Ives being The Adventures of a French Prison in England" by Robert Louis Stevenson
You wouldn't want to see it again: it plays the devil with a man's nerves.
"Joe Wilson and His Mates" by Henry Lawson
How near he came to playing the devil with his future publisher.
"Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete" by Albert Bigelow Paine
Just tell him from me, he's at liberty to play the devil with himself, but not with my beasts.
"Rhoda Fleming, Complete" by George Meredith
I wanted to be of the angels and play with the devils also.
"Cumner & South Sea Folk, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
He plays with the devil for sport only, and stakes his soul to nothing.
"Character Writings of the 17th Century" by Various
Turn therefore Naples to a puddle: with a civil Much promising face, and well oiled, play the court devil.
"The Age of Shakespeare" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
When a soul plays dice with the devil there is only a second in which to win or lose; but the second may be worth an eternity.
"An Introduction to the Study of Browning" by Arthur Symons
He proposed to the Devil to play him a trick, and with that intention they both went to the convent.
"Faustus his Life, Death, and Doom" by Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger
Whenever you play with the meshes of possession, a devil is near at hand to weave you in.
"Child and Country" by Will Levington Comfort
They play the devil with my inside, but I like them and I don't care ... only Lord help the actors to-night!
"Changing Winds" by St. John G. Ervine
And you must promise not to blame me, if I fall and play the devil with the whole thing.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
I volunteered to sit up with you and watch, but I played the devil a-doin' it!
"The Man from Jericho" by Edwin Carlile Litsey
If he gets back to power, he will certainly play the devil with something.
"The Real Gladstone an Anecdotal Biography" by J. Ewing Ritchie
Neither should he monopolize the innocent amusements with which, if they are left to him, he does indeed play the devil.
"Modern Society" by Julia Ward Howe
I permit nobody to play tricks with me, the devil with 'em all!
"Fifty Contemporary One-Act Plays" by Various
I allow nobody to play tricks with me, the devil with 'em all!
"Contemporary One-Act Plays" by Sir James M. Barrie
There is a lurking devil in them that it will not do to play with.
"The Independence Day Horror at Killsbury" by Asenath Carver Coolidge
I saw ye once fooling with a maid, teachin' her the devil's game, that meant play to ye, and death to her.
"Into the Highways and Hedges" by F. F. Montrésor (Frances Frederica)
A man that can bring such influence to bear with his own exertions may play the devil at Charleston.
"The Life Of Abraham Lincoln From His Birth To His Inauguration As President" by Ward H. Lamon

In poetry:

Till in a black room each is penned,
While from above with cruel aim
Two torturers with lances bend
To goad their fieriness to flame,
To devil them to play the game.
"The Bulls" by Robert W Service

In news:

Devil players not too spoiled by good life to ride the bus while playing with Albany in AHL.
The heralded freshman point guard declared for the NBA draft on Wednesday and plans to hire an agent, after playing in only 11 games for the Blue Devils, missing much of the season with an injured big toe on his right foot.
A fumble by the Panthers on their next possession set the Maplesville offense up at the Jemison 27, and with a 1-yard touchdown run by Chambers, the Devils retook the lead, 35-28, with 9:51 to play.
The Western Reserve Blue Devils used a tenacious defense and big plays on offense to take sole possession of the ITCL Lower Tier with a 28-6 win Friday night over visiting Southern Local night.
Central-Phenix City had just scored a touchdown and kicked off to Jeff Davis when officials halted play to move the Red Devils across the field to share the west sideline with the Volunteers.