The phrase "the devil incarnate" refers to a person who is extremely wicked or cruel. It highlights the extreme nature of someone's evil actions or behavior.
"The devil incarnate" means that a person is extremely evil, similar to the devil in terms of cruelty and wickedness.
The idiom "the devil incarnate" suggests someone whose behavior is so vicious or cruel that it resembles the devil. If you describe someone as the devil incarnate, you are expressing extreme disapproval or criticism of their actions or behavior.
Key aspects of the idiom's meaning include:
The phrase has roots in religious texts, where the devil is often depicted as the embodiment of evil. The term "incarnate" comes from Latin and means "made flesh," suggesting that this wickedness has taken human form.
"I vow to God, she is sometimes so intolerable, that I almost think she's the devil incarnate, come to torment me for my sins; and yet I am conscious of no sins that ought to entail such family plagues upon me--why the devil should I not shake off these torments at once?
- The Miscellaneous Works of Tobias Smollet, 1806
Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:
The phrase "the devil incarnate" often appears in media that deal with stories of evil or wicked characters, such as horror movies, thrillers, and drama series.
Some examples include:
There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "the devil incarnate."
Some of these include:
You can use these alternatives interchangeably depending on the context and the level of wickedness or cruelty involved.
"The devil incarnate" is a phrase used to describe someone who is extremely wicked or cruel, akin to the devil himself.
It can be used in any context where you wish to express extreme disapproval of someone's actions or behavior due to their cruelty or wickedness.
The phrase originates from religious texts where the devil is depicted as the embodiment of evil. The term "incarnate" implies this evil has taken a human form.
While both terms suggest evil or wickedness, "the devil incarnate" is significantly stronger and implies a person is the embodiment of evil, not merely possessing devilish traits.
Generally, "the devil incarnate" is used to describe people rather than situations. However, it can be used metaphorically to describe a highly distressing or evil situation.
Given its strong negative connotation, it could be considered offensive and disrespectful to call someone "the devil incarnate" unless used in a clearly hyperbolic or humorous context.
The phrase isn't commonly used in casual conversation due to its strength, but it might appear in literature, drama, or in contexts where strong condemnation is needed.
Given its highly emotive and figurative nature, "the devil incarnate" is typically avoided in academic writing, which generally favors more neutral and precise language.
Originally, yes. The idiom draws on religious imagery of the devil as the embodiment of evil. However, in modern usage, it's often used more generally to describe anyone extremely wicked, regardless of religious context.
Yes, while both phrases relate to evilness, "the devil incarnate" suggests a person is openly wicked or cruel. "A devil in disguise," on the other hand, implies someone appears good or innocent but is secretly wicked or harmful.
To wrap it up, the idiom "the devil incarnate" is used to describe extreme wickedness or evil. It is a way of expressing severe disapproval or criticism of someone's actions or behavior.
Key aspects of the phrase:
Remember that the idiom expresses a strong condemnation of a person's behavior or actions. It should, therefore, be used with caution and primarily in contexts where such strong disapproval is warranted.