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Difference between device or devise

device or devise

In the realm of English language, the terms device and devise often get used interchangeably, albeit incorrectly, due to their similar spelling and pronunciation. However, their meanings, origins, and applications in sentences are distinct. This article aims to clarify these differences and provide a comprehensive understanding of both terms.

Quick Facts Table

Part of SpeechNounVerb
DefinitionA tool or object created for a particular purpose.To plan or invent a complex procedure, system, or mechanism through careful thought.
UsageRefers to physical gadgets or instruments.Refers to the process of planning or inventing something.

Difference Between Device OR Devise

Definition of Device

A device is a noun that refers to a piece of equipment or a tool designed to serve a specific function or purpose. Devices can range from simple tools like hammers to complex machinery like computers.

Definition of Devise

Devise, on the other hand, is a verb that means to plan or invent something (such as a complex procedure, system, or mechanism) through careful thought. It involves the use of creativity and intelligence to come up with something new or solve a problem.

Origin of Device

The word device originates from the Old French devis, meaning plan, pleasure, or contrivance, which in turn comes from the Latin divisus, meaning divided. This reflects the idea that devices often result from dividing or breaking down tasks into more manageable parts.

Origin of Devise

Devise also traces back to Old French deviser, meaning to divide, distribute, or concoct. It shares the same Latin root with device, emphasizing the process of division or distribution in creating or planning.


  • Device is pronounced as /dɪˈvaɪs/.
  • Devise is pronounced as /dɪˈvaɪz/.

Comparing Device and Devise

While device is a tangible object, devise is an action or process. The primary difference lies in their grammatical roles and their application in language and context. Devices are the outcomes or tools, whereas devising is the process leading to those outcomes.

NaturePhysical objectMental process
FunctionalityUsed for a specific applicationUsed to create or plan something
OutcomeTangible resultIntangible plan or idea

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Device in Sentences

  1. The engineer showcased a new device designed to purify water using solar energy.
    • This sentence highlights device as a physical tool with a specific purpose.
  2. My grandmother still uses a traditional sewing device instead of a modern machine.
    • Here, device refers to a simpler, older tool used for sewing.
  3. The latest device from the tech company features innovative voice-recognition technology.
    • Device is used to describe a modern gadget with advanced features.
  4. Emergency services use a tracking device to locate lost hikers in the mountains.
    • A device in this context is a tool used for safety and rescue operations.
  5. He invented a device that can convert plastic waste into reusable material.
    • This example shows device as an invention with an environmental purpose.

Use of Devise in Sentences

  1. The team worked overnight to devise a plan to increase market share.
    • Devise is used to describe the process of creating a strategic plan.
  2. She managed to devise a method to teach mathematics more effectively to young children.
    • Here, devise refers to inventing a new teaching approach.
  3. The novelist devised an intricate plot for his latest thriller.
    • Devise indicates the creation of a complex story structure.
  4. Scientists devise experiments to test their hypotheses.
    • In this sentence, devise is about planning scientific research methods.
  5. They had to devise a way to cross the river without a bridge.
    • Devise highlights problem-solving in a challenging situation.


Understanding the difference between device and devise enhances clarity and precision in communication. While a device is a noun that represents a physical tool or instrument, devise is a verb that involves the process of planning or inventing. Recognizing these distinctions is crucial for accurate and effective expression in both written and spoken English.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What are some synonyms for “device”?
  • Can “devise” be used in legal contexts?
    • Yes, “devise” is often used in legal contexts to refer to the act of bequeathing property through a will.
  • Is it possible for one person to both “devise” and create a “device”?
    • Absolutely, an individual can devise (plan or invent) a device (a physical tool) and then proceed to create it.
  • How can I remember the difference between “device” and “devise”?
    • One way is to remember that device ends in “ice,” which is a thing, whereas devise ends in “ise,” indicating an action or process.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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