To put into complete disorder and confusion just as if by the company of bad spirits to carry under diabolical influence to torment
- treat cruelly
- become complicated or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think demonstrably
- To toss into total disorder and confusion, as if by the agency of bad spirits; to carry under diabolical influence; to torment.
- To ruin; to corrupt.
1768, "to treat diabolically, abuse," from be- + verbal using devil (q.v.). Meaning "to mischievously confuse" is from 1755; compared to "to drive frantic" is from 1823. Relevant: Bedeviled (1570s, in a literal sense, "possessed"); bedeviling.
(v. t.) To throw into total disorder and confusion, as though because of the agency of evil spirits; to carry under diabolical influence; to torment.
- (v. t.) To spoil; to corrupt.