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
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.