puck·​ish | \ ˈpə-kish How to pronounce puckish (audio) \

Definition of puckish

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Other Words from puckish

puckishly adverb
puckishness noun

Did You Know?

We know Puck as "that merry wanderer of the night," the shape-changing, maiden-frightening, mischief-sowing henchman to the king of the fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Bard drew on English folklore in casting his character, but the traditional Puck was more malicious than the Shakespearean imp; he was an evil spirit or demon. In medieval England, this nasty hobgoblin was known as the puke or pouke, names related to the Old Norse pŪki, meaning "devil." But it was the Bard's characterization that stuck, and by the time the adjective puckish started appearing regularly in English texts in the late 1800s the association was one of impishness, not evil.

Examples of puckish in a Sentence

He had a puckish smile on his face. he takes a puckish delight in teasing her about her love life, or lack thereof
Recent Examples on the Web Also returning is the original cast member Mitchell Jarvis, who is back overplaying the narrator, Lonny — a puckish employee of the Bourbon Room, the rock club where most of the action takes place. New York Times, "Review: ‘Rock of Ages’ Returns, Scaled Down but Big Hair Intact," 4 July 2019 The best have a puckish joyousness, even when the material is dark. Los Angeles Times, "Forget ‘Saturday Night Live.’ In TV’s latest sketch comedies, an old form learns new tricks," 31 July 2019 Before he was shot to death Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Stephen Romero was a puckish 6-year-old boy with a bright smile. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Family mourns ‘very loving’ 6-year-old San Jose boy killed at Gilroy Garlic Festival," 29 July 2019 With activists including Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Mr. Krassner formed the puckish Youth International Party, whose members were known as Yippies. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Paul Krassner, countercultural ringmaster and leader of the Yippies, dies at 87," 22 July 2019 That kind of puckish, mildly subversive humor runs throughout the book, which is a calm and sagacious volume rendered somewhat somber by the news of his passing. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ memoir serves up calm wisdom," 17 July 2019 His unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation.’’ With his white hair, bow tie, and puckish smile, Justice Stevens had the look of an avuncular professor. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "John Paul Stevens, liberal leader on Supreme Court, dies at 99," 16 July 2019 But the winning, sympathetic Keaton and an enjoyably puckish Gleeson largely sell the contrived setup. Gary Goldstein, latimes.com, "Review: Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson add needed charm to ‘Hampstead’," 13 June 2019 The four under Bowie’s leadership highlight his puckish solo style and ability to translate classic pop tunes into the jazz repertoire without the results sounding forced. Martin Johnson, WSJ, "‘The Art Ensemble of Chicago and Associated Ensembles’ Review: First-Rate Riffs From the Second City," 3 Dec. 2018

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

1831, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for puckish

puck entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near puckish

pucker up







Statistics for puckish

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for puckish

The first known use of puckish was in 1831

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How to pronounce puckish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of puckish

literary : having or showing a desire to cause trouble in a playful or harmless way

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