DEVICE, a scheme, plan, simple mechanical contrivance; also a pattern or design, particularly an heraldic design or emblem, often combined with a motto or legend. "Device" and its doublet "devise" come from the two Old French forms devis and devise of the Latin divisa, things divided, from dividere, to separate, used in the sense of to arrange, set out, apportion. "Devise," as a substantive, is now only used as a legal term for a disposition of property by will, by a modern convention restricted to a disposition of real property, the term "bequest" being used of personalty (see Will). This use is directly due to the Medieval Latin meaning of dividere = testamento disponere. In its verbal form, "devise" is used not only in the legal sense, but also in the sense of to plan, arrange, scheme.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)