Definition of mischief
1 : a specific injury or damage attributed to a particular agent the polished floor … often causes mischiefs — bruises, sprains, dislocations — Herbert Spencer
2 : a cause or source of harm, evil, or irritation; especially : a person who causes mischief He's a real mischief to his family.
Examples of mischief in a Sentence
It's hard to keep him out of mischief.
the children claimed that setting off a firecracker was harmless mischief, but they got a lecture anyway
Recent Examples of mischief from the Web
In a deal with prosecutors, Mateen Shaheed pleaded guilty to five counts of first and second-degree criminal mischief.
But try the same trick during a presidential transition, and there is all kinds of room for mischief, misunderstanding and, by some lights, criminality.
The show’s stars are the Warners – Wakko and Yakko and their sister, Dot – characters of an indeterminate species who cause lighthearted mischief at the Warner Bros. studios.
The man suspected of throwing a beer can at Baltimore outfielder Hyun Soo Kim during a playoff game in Toronto last October has pleaded guilty to mischief.
He was charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, resisting an officer without violence and criminal mischief, according to the police report.
Shady Ln., 1300 block: Criminal mischief (under $100).
To reveal more about how the relationships between Chloe, Paul and Louis unfold would be to spoil the funhouse of motifs (mirrors, duh!), references and thriller tropes that Ozon has assembled with great flair and an infectious sense of mischief.
So Chris gets hold of the Boswellian tale and decides to pull a little mischief.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mischief'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology 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
MISCHIEF Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mischief for English Language Learners
: 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
MISCHIEF Defined for Kids
Definition of mischief for Students
1 : behavior or activity that annoys or bothers but is not meant to cause serious harm It was a typical school plan to keep us out of mischief. — Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder
2 : injury or damage caused by a person
Seen and Heard
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