mischievous

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

Definition of mischievous

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

His expression during the video is bemused, carefree, unbothered, and entirely mischievous — providing a perfect reaction meme for anyone looking to lighten the mood or give a humorous hot take as is par for the course on social media. Cady Lang, Time, "Priceless Giggling Reaction Gave Us a Very Mischievous Meme," 11 July 2019 Normally, a mischievous driver tries to launch tubers off the boat's wake, running slow to kick up a big curl before circling around on it. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Yamaha 242 Limited S Is Ready To Escape the Lake," 11 July 2019 Another challenge for soldier fly farmers is that larvae are surprisingly mischievous. Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, "Maggots: A taste of food’s future," 3 July 2019 Being mischievous without being superior is the key. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Filmmaker Ari Aster talks about the 'Frankenstein's monster' that is ‘Midsommar’," 2 July 2019 The fourth episode is a mischievous behind-the-scenes meta-satire that gradually but insistently collapses the boundaries between fiction and reality. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Mariano Llinás’ ‘La Flor’ is the dazzling, epic centerpiece of Locarno in Los Angeles," 15 June 2018 Written by the Crossover staff Nearly a quarter century ago, the mischievous developers at Midway created NBA Jam, marrying video games and sports in a way never seen before. SI.com, "Sports Illustrated's Where Are They Now? Stories," 23 June 2019 Her on-screen charisma is tempered by a mischievous sense of humour. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Midsommar Star Florence Pugh Swears Her Cult-y Horror Breakup Movie Isn't That Scary," 20 June 2019 For centuries, authors have described this sound as deceitful or mischievous. Christine Dell'amore, National Geographic, "Hyenas have a bad rap—but they’re Africa’s most successful predator," 14 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of mischievous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mischievous

see mischief

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Statistics for mischievous

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mischievous

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

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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

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Comments on mischievous

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