prank

noun
\ ˈpraŋk How to pronounce prank (audio) \

Definition of prank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: trick:
a obsolete : a malicious act
b : a mildly mischievous act
c : a ludicrous act

prank

verb (1)
pranked; pranking

Definition of prank (Entry 2 of 3)

1 transitive : to play a trick or prank on (someone) … you feel shock, dismay, then anger as it dawns on you that you've been pranked— Lucius Shepard On the day of the ceremony, a stuntwoman pal, dressed to look like Swanson, kicked things off by pranking the audience and falling down a flight of stairs. (The crowd went from gasping to laughing once the ruse was revealed.)— Lorenzo Benet
2 intransitive obsolete : to play tricks or pranks

prank

verb (2)
pranked; pranking; pranks

Definition of prank (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to show oneself off

transitive verb

: to dress or adorn gaily or showily

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Synonyms for prank

Synonyms: Noun

antic, caper, capriccio, dido, escapade, frolic, gag, jest, knavery, monkeyshine(s), practical joke, rag [chiefly British], roguery, shavie [Scottish], shine(s), trick, waggery

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Examples of prank in a Sentence

Noun

He enjoys playing pranks on his friends. as a prank, several students managed to change all the classroom clocks to different times

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Brian Littrell started off the prank, riding the elevator solo when three women enter wearing Backstreet Boys shirts — and immediately recognize the boy band member. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Going Up? Backstreet Boys Surprise Fans with an Elevator Sing-Along of Their Classic Hits," 28 June 2018 An 18-second clip, tweeted out by Royal Central editor Charlie Proctor, shows Charles playing the brotherly prank on Anne. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles Pranking Princess Anne Is the Best Thing You'll See Today," 8 Nov. 2018 They were filled with hilarious costumes, pop-culture references, and lots of pranks. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "‘The Conners’ Just Gave a Sneak Peek of Its Halloween Episode," 26 Oct. 2018 Image The president of the United States, one of the most protected people on the planet and among the least accessible to the public, would seem to be a long-shot target for a prank caller looking to have some fun. New York Times, "Prankster Calls the President, and the White House Puts Him Right Through," 29 June 2018 Some of the best stories in his book are ones that never made headlines — the pranks firefighters pull on each other, the absurd incidents that happen on calls and the small-but-meaningful acts of humanity between strangers. Stephanie Farr, Philly.com, "Philly firefighter's book details 37 years of blood, pranks and the smell of death | We the People," 20 June 2018 Woody Harrelson and Sean Penn, for instance, had something of a sportive one-upmanship on the set of The Thin Red Line, culminating in an elaborate prank that ended at a police station. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Hollywood bad-boy Nick Nolte tells all in his memoir, 'Rebel'," 22 Jan. 2018 Authorities are investing the abuse and death of Baby, a five-year-old goat, in a senior prank that went too far. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "This Poor Goat Was Fatally Abused for a Senior Prank," 2 June 2016 O’Leary dismissed those incidents as teenage pranks. Emily Bazar, The Seattle Times, "Typical kid behavior or a mental-health problem? It can be hard to decide.," 13 Aug. 2018

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

Noun

circa 1529, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for prank

Noun

obsolete prank to play tricks

Verb (2)

probably from Dutch pronken to strut; akin to Middle High German gebrunkel glitter of metal

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Statistics for prank

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prank

The first known use of prank was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for prank

prank

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prank

: a trick that is done to someone usually as a joke

prank

noun
\ ˈpraŋk How to pronounce prank (audio) \

Kids Definition of prank

: a mischievous act : practical joke

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More from Merriam-Webster on prank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prank

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prank

Spanish Central: Translation of prank

Nglish: Translation of prank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prank for Arabic Speakers

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