mischief

noun
mis·​chief | \ ˈmis-chəf How to pronounce mischief (audio) , ˈmish-\

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

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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 on the Web

Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Jenny Slate and Patton Oswalt voice star as a menagerie of family pets that get into various types of mischief while their owners are away. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: 'Dark Phoenix' Flies to Mediocre $5M in Previews," 7 June 2019 Elizabeth Warren’s proposed Real Corporate Profits Tax would create serious financial mischief, but Prof. WSJ, "Elizabeth Warren’s Useless Accounting Bill," 14 May 2019 McGregor was charged with robbery and criminal mischief, but his attorney described the altercation as minor. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Conor McGregor announces retirement on social media," 26 Mar. 2019 In the past two years, federal and state officials have scrambled to harden a system that is almost perfectly vulnerable to the kinds of meddling and mischief on offer from Russian (or other) adversaries. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why social media is friend to far-right politicians around the world," 30 Oct. 2018 In the past two years, federal and state officials have scrambled to harden a system that is almost perfectly vulnerable to the kinds of meddling and mischief on offer from Russian (or other) adversaries. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Terrorists, protesters, or people who just don’t like Americans may try to penetrate the embassy grounds and cause mischief. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Marines Want Non-Lethal Taser Rounds to Stun Angry Crowds," 6 Sep. 2018 Pottsville police told Fox 16 she was cited for endangering the welfare of a minor and criminal mischief. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "A Teen's Last-Second Decision to Swerve Into a Tree Saved a Baby in the Middle of a Highway," 17 Aug. 2018 He was issued a civil citation for criminal mischief with a recommendation that he be evaluated as a candidate for the fire starter program. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "Here's how NOT to change the color of your mood ring. First-grader gets a hard lesson. | Miami Herald," 19 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of mischief

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mischief

Middle English meschief, from Anglo-French, misfortune, hardship, from Old French meschever to come out badly, mes- + chief head, end — more at chief

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Statistics for mischief

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mischief

The first known use of mischief was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for mischief

mischief

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mischief

: behavior or activity that is annoying but that is not meant to cause serious harm or damage
: a playful desire to cause trouble
somewhat formal : harmful behavior

mischief

noun
mis·​chief | \ ˈmis-chəf How to pronounce mischief (audio) \

Kids Definition of mischief

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mischief

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mischief

Spanish Central: Translation of mischief

Nglish: Translation of mischief for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mischief for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mischief

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