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 In the show, Mr. Ed had a puckish sense of humor but abstained from alcohol and no longer had a streak of nihilism. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The “BoJack Horseman” Finale: A Hollywoo Reckoning," 5 Feb. 2020 Today in London, that ethos translated to a parade of punkish, puckish models with eyes framed in graphic eyeshadow in shades of hot pink and cream. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "At Matty Bovan, Bold Eye Makeup Gets a Playful Punk Twist," 14 Feb. 2020 But this one is set in a nursing home, a puckish acknowledgment that everyone in the Scorsese universe has gotten a little (OK, a lot) older. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Irishman and Parasite: Two Paths for the Hustle," 11 Dec. 2019 Those who knew him well said the gruff exterior concealed a shy man with a puckish wit. New York Times, "Paul A. Volcker, Fed Chairman Who Waged War on Inflation, Is Dead at 92," 9 Dec. 2019 The comedian Daniel Sloss, a puckish twenty-nine-year-old Scot whose face brings to mind Macaulay Culkin’s mug shot, delights in inducing his audience’s discomfort. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "Daniel Sloss’s “X,” a Laddish Comic’s Reckoning with #MeToo," 8 Nov. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for puckish

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The first known use of puckish was in 1831

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Statistics for puckish

Last Updated

6 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puckish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puckish. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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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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