Dictionary

mischievous

adjective mis·chie·vous \ˈmis-chə-vəs, ˈmish-; ÷mis-ˈchē-vē-əs, mish-\

: causing or tending to cause annoyance or minor harm or damage

: showing a playful desire to cause trouble

: intended to harm someone or someone's reputation

Full Definition of MISCHIEVOUS

1
:  harmful, injurious <mischievous gossip>
2
a :  able or tending to cause annoyance, trouble, or minor injury
b :  irresponsibly playful <mischievous behavior>
mis·chie·vous·ly adverb
mis·chie·vous·ness noun

Usage Discussion of MISCHIEVOUS



A pronunciation \mis-ˈchē-vē-əs\ and a consequent spelling mischievious are of long standing: evidence for the spelling goes back to the 16th century. Our pronunciation files contain modern attestations ranging from dialect speakers to Herbert Hoover. But both the pronunciation and the spelling are still considered nonstandard.
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of MISCHIEVOUS

  1. <the children had been so mischievous that we had to pay the babysitter extra and then clean up the mess>
  2. <punished for their mischievous tricks on the neighbors>
  3. In passing the test of killing itself if infected, cancerous or genetically mischievous, a cell by definition dies. —Matt Ridley, Genome, 1999

Origin of MISCHIEVOUS

(see mischief)
First Known Use: 14th century
MISCHIEVOUSNESS Defined for Kids

mischievous

adjective mis·chie·vous \ˈmis-chə-vəs\

Definition of MISCHIEVOUS for Kids

1
:  causing or likely to cause minor injury or harm <a mischievous puppy>
2
:  showing a spirit of irresponsible fun or playfulness <The boy had a mischievous look on his face.>
3
:  harming or intended to do harm <mischievous gossip>
mis·chie·vous·ly adverb

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: misch metalPrevious Word in the Dictionary: mischiefAll Words Near: mischievous
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears