Simple Definition of mischievous
: 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
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.
Examples of mischievous
In passing the test of killing itself if infected, cancerous or genetically mischievous, a cell by definition dies. —Matt Ridley, Genome, 1999
… Pedro Martinez, could be found in the dugout, usually wearing sneakers instead of spikes, his tongue flying about as fiercely as one of his mischievous fastballs. —Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated, 11 Oct. 1999
Setsu grew, too, from a mischievous, laughing little girl into a gay, willful, pretty girl. —Pearl S. Buck, The Big Wave, 1947
<the children had been so mischievous that we had to pay the babysitter extra and then clean up the mess>
<punished for their mischievous tricks on the neighbors>
Origin of mischievous
First Known Use: 14th century
Seen and Heard
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