• Greek: diabolos, slanderer, accuser, or traducer


The word is used as a name for a fallen angel or evil spirit, especially for the chief of the rebellious angels, Lucifer or Satan (Matthew 25). In both the Old and the New Testament he is represented as a personal being cast off by God and hostile to men, going about like “a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5). Adorned at his creation with sanctifying grace, he sinned by pride, and with many other heavenly spirits was denied the’ beatific vision. His abode is hell, and he cannot enjoy the benefits of the Redemption. Yet he remains a rational spirit, possessed of the knowledge he had before the fall, and in the administration of the universe is permitted, for God’s own purposes, to exercise some influence upon animate and inanimate creatures. Cases of diabolic obsession, possession, and infestation are numerous. Christ drove out devils, and empowered the Apostles to do so. In the Church the institution of the order of exorcists testifies to belief in a personal devil.

Associated in art with

MLA Citation

  • “devil”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 November 2012. Web. 20 June 2019. <>