imp·​ish | \ ˈim-pish How to pronounce impish (audio) \

Definition of impish

: of, relating to, or befitting an imp especially : mischievous

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from impish

impishly adverb
impishness noun

Examples of impish in a Sentence

the gang of impish children ran into the street, utterly oblivious to the traffic
Recent Examples on the Web An impish face stared up at me, looking for a reaction, like a puppy who had just nosed over a ball. Hillary Richard, New York Times, "Doing the Bump With the Belugas," 11 May 2020 Katie, a playful 3-year-old with an impish smile, is largely non-verbal. Jackie Mader, USA TODAY, "Her daycare was already on the brink. Then coronavirus struck.," 11 Apr. 2020 For decades Mort Drucker generated impish, extroverted covers for Mad magazine — and once for National Review. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 16 Apr. 2020 In Marcantel’s telling, the air-guitar ethos marries the impish, over-the-top showmanship of professional wrestling with a commitment worthy of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "In ‘Airness,’ the axes are invisible but the play is loud," 19 Nov. 2019 As night watchman, Thomas fights off sleep, he is often visited by the impish spirit of his friend Roderick, whose story unspools the cruelties of Indian schools designed to erase a people rather than educate them. Patty Rhule, USA TODAY, "Review: Louise Erdrich’s 'The Night Watchman' a rich novel of Native American family, community," 2 Mar. 2020 On the show, Chinn’s impish character raises a ruckus in Atlantic City with her rowdy friend group of older Chinese women; plays violent video games with reckless abandon; and even gets her own epic backstory in the form of a cheesy K-drama. Time, "Lori Tan Chinn Is a Scene-Stealer in Awkwafina’s New Series. But the Role Comes After Decades of Harassment and Discrimination," 24 Jan. 2020 Buck Henry, the impish screenwriter whose wry, satirical sensibility brought comic electricity to The Graduate, What’s Up, Doc?, To Die For and TV’s Get Smart, died on Jan. 8 at the age of 89. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "Notable Deaths 2020," 10 Jan. 2020 The diminutive and expressively eyebrowed Voiello, played by Silvio Orlando, provided an impish counterweight to Belardo’s grandiosity in The Young Pope. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The New Pope’s Old Magic," 8 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of impish

1652, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impish

Time Traveler for impish

Time Traveler

The first known use of impish was in 1652

See more words from the same year

Statistics for impish

Cite this Entry

“Impish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for impish


How to pronounce impish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impish

: having or showing a playful desire to cause trouble : playful and mischievous


imp·​ish | \ ˈim-pish How to pronounce impish (audio) \

Kids Definition of impish

: playful and mischievous an impish glance

Other Words from impish

impishly adverb He grinned impishly.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on impish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impish

Spanish Central: Translation of impish

Nglish: Translation of impish for Spanish Speakers

Comments on impish

What made you want to look up impish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!