noun \ˈmis-chəf, ˈmish-\

: behavior or activity that is annoying but that is not meant to cause serious harm or damage

: a playful desire to cause trouble

: harmful behavior

Full Definition of MISCHIEF

:  a specific injury or damage attributed to a particular agent
:  a cause or source of harm, evil, or irritation; especially :  a person who causes mischief
a :  action that annoys or irritates
b :  the quality or state of being mischievous :  mischievousness <had mischief in his eyes>

Examples of MISCHIEF

  1. It's hard to keep him out of mischief.
  2. <the children claimed that setting off a firecracker was harmless mischief, but they got a lecture anyway>

Origin of MISCHIEF

Middle English meschief, from Anglo-French, misfortune, hardship, from Old French meschever to come out badly, mes- + chief head, end — more at chief
First Known Use: 14th century


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