device

Device \De*vice"\, n. [OE. devis, devise, will, intention, opinion, invention, fr. F. devis architect's plan and estimates (in OF., division, plan, wish), devise device (in sense 3), in OF. also, division, wish, last will, fr. deviser. See {Devise}, v. t., and cf. {Devise}, n.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] His device in against Babylon, to destroy it. --Jer. li. 11. [1913 Webster] Their recent device of demanding benevolences. --Hallam. [1913 Webster] He disappointeth the devices of the crafty. --Job v. 12. [1913 Webster] 2. Power of devising; invention; contrivance. [1913 Webster] I must have instruments of my own device. --Landor. [1913 Webster] 3. (a) 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 {Cognizance}. (b) Improperly, an heraldic bearing. [1913 Webster] Knights-errant used to distinguish themselves by devices on their shields. --Addison. [1913 Webster] A banner with this strange device Excelsior. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] 4. Anything fancifully conceived. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 5. A spectacle or show. [Obs.] --Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] 6. Opinion; decision. [Obs.] --Rom. of R. 7. any artifactual object designed to perform an action or process, with or without an operator in attendance. [PJC] Syn: Contrivance; invention; design; scheme; project; stratagem; shift. Usage: -- {Device}, {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 device; contrivance is almost always used in a good sense; as, a useful contrivance. [1913 Webster]