mischief

play
noun mis·chief \ˈmis-chəf, ˈmish-\

Definition of mischief

  1. 1 :  a specific injury or damage attributed to a particular agent <the polished floor … often causes mischiefs — bruises, sprains, dislocations — Herbert Spencer>

  2. 2 :  a cause or source of harm, evil, or irritation; especially :  a person who causes mischief <He's a real mischief to his family.>

  3. 3a :  action that annoys or irritates <Halloween mischiefs>b :  the quality or state of being mischievous :  mischievousness <had mischief in his eyes>

Examples of mischief in a sentence

  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 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

mischief

play
noun mis·chief \ˈmis-chəf, ˈmish-\

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

mischief

play
noun mis·chief \ˈmis-chəf\

Definition of mischief for Students

  1. 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. 2 :  injury or damage caused by a person



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