puckish

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

Definition of puckish

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 On its Fourth of July cover one year, a puckish rendition of Maoist-style propaganda appeared. Michael D. Breidenbach, The Atlantic, "Raising the American Flag Made in China," 4 July 2018 The puckish prince would often cajole Protection Officer Ken Wharfe into playing war. CBS News, "The real Harry: Profile of a prince," 19 May 2018 Interspersed with the more serious material is a virtual party of chapters about all sorts of puckish topics. Caroline Leavitt, SFChronicle.com, "'Calypso,' by David Sedaris," 22 June 2018 With a puckish sense of humor, fate placed Strange at the scene of his diminishment. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "Curtis Strange embraces the idea of Brooks Koepka joining his U.S. Open club," 18 June 2018 His cynical joie de vivre, his puckish smile, his elevation of curiosity as a virtue. Southern Living, "All Southerners Will Appreciate How Anthony Bourdain Spent Atlanta Layovers," 11 June 2018 The puckish prince would often cajole Protection Officer Ken Wharfe into playing war. CBS News, "The real Harry: Profile of a prince," 19 May 2018 The puckish prince would often cajole Protection Officer Ken Wharfe into playing war. CBS News, "The real Harry: Profile of a prince," 19 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of puckish

1831, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for puckish

puck entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about puckish

Dictionary Entries near puckish

pucker up

puckery

puckfist

puckish

puckle

pucksey

puckster

Statistics for puckish

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puckish

The first known use of puckish was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for puckish

puckish

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of puckish

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

More from Merriam-Webster on puckish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puckish

Comments on puckish

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!