mischievous

adjective
mis·​chie·​vous | \ ˈmis-chə-vəs How to pronounce mischievous (audio) , ˈmish-; nonstandard mis-ˈchē-vē-əs, mish- How to pronounce mischievous (audio) \

Definition of mischievous

1 : harmful, injurious mischievous gossip
2a : able or tending to cause annoyance, trouble, or minor injury
b : irresponsibly playful mischievous behavior

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mischievous

mischievously adverb
mischievousness noun

Mischievous vs. Mischievious: Usage Guide

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 a Sentence

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Yaz Bukey, whimsically dressed as a green-stemmed, bright pink flower, found a happy resting place in a splendid gilded throne that turned out to have once belonged to her great-grandfather, the mischievous King Farouk of Egypt. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Attends Serdar Gülgün’s Opulent Ottoman Ball in Istanbul," 4 Feb. 2019 The duo have a fun, mischievous dynamic on set and off. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Custom Details That Made Kaley Cuoco's Wedding So Dazzling," 16 Jan. 2019 Fanning resembles a very tall fairy; it’s not just her wide eyes, pert nose, and charmingly mischievous grin. Evelyn Crowley, Vogue, "Elle Fanning on Starring in Miu Miu’s New Fragrance Campaign—And the One Look She’ll Never Try," 15 Jan. 2019 Yule Lads are also figures from Icelandic lore, ranging from the mischievous to the murderous. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "10 Details in "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale" You Might Have Missed," 14 Dec. 2018 Still, her smile is just as warm as in pictures, if slightly mischievous. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 9 Dec. 2018 Then hit Uluwatu temple at sunset (watch out for mischievous monkeys who steal many an iPhone!), where the views of the light fading behind the cliff will be some of the most photogenic of your trip. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 Tony was just himself: humble, confident, authentic, mischievous, kind. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Darren Aronofsky Reflects on Filming Death Ritual with Anthony Bourdain for Parts Unknown Finale," 25 June 2018 There might emerge the kindest man in the world: tender, playful, mischievous, laughing. Lee Siegel, WSJ, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Great Father," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mischievous.' 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 mischievous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mischievous

see mischief

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mischievous

Share mischievous

Statistics for mischievous

Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mischievous

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mischievous

mischievous

adjective

English Language Learners 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

mischievous

adjective
mis·​chie·​vous | \ ˈmis-chə-vəs How to pronounce mischievous (audio) \

Kids Definition of mischievous

1 : causing or likely to cause minor injury or harm a mischievous puppy
2 : showing a spirit of irresponsible fun or playfulness The boy had a mischievous look on his face.
3 : harming or intended to do harm mischievous gossip

Other Words from mischievous

mischievously adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on mischievous

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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