American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Behavior that causes discomfiture or annoyance in another.
- n. An inclination or tendency to play pranks or cause embarrassment.
- n. One that causes minor trouble or disturbance: The child was a mischief in school.
- n. Damage, destruction, or injury caused by a specific person or thing: The broken window was the mischief of vandals.
- n. The state or quality of being mischievous.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A harmful or troublesome event, circumstance, or contingency; an action or occurrence attended with evil or vexation; an annoying, frustrating, or hurtful state or condition of things; misfortune; calamity: used with much latitude of application: as, some one is making mischief; the mischief is that he cannot keep his temper.
- n. The act, state, course, or disposition of causing annoyance, trouble, or harm; vexatious or injurious operation or tendency; the working of damage or disaster: as, the clouds bode mischief; what mischief is he up to now? often used in a kindly or playful sense, or for affectionate excuse: as, the lad is full of mischief, but not vicious.
- n. One who or that which does harm or causes injury or vexation; a source of trouble or annoyance: as, that child is a mischief.
- n. Annoyance, injury, or damage caused or produced; harm; hurt: as, to do mischief; irremediable mischief: now never used in the plural.
- n. The devil. [Colloq.]
- n. Synonyms Damage, Harm, etc. See injury.
- To hurt; harm; ruin.
- To come to harm or misfortune; miscarry.
- n. Harm or evil caused by an agent or brought about by a particular cause.
- n. One who causes mischief. In a milder sense, one who causes petty annoyances. mischief-maker.
- n. Vexatious or annoying conduct.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Harm; damage; esp., disarrangement of order; trouble or vexation caused by human agency or by some living being, intentionally or not; often, calamity, mishap; trivial evil caused by thoughtlessness, or in sport.
- n. Cause of trouble or vexation; trouble.
- v. obsolete To do harm to.
- n. reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others
- n. the quality or nature of being harmful or evil
- From Middle English, from Old French, meschief, from meschever ("to bring to grief"), from mes- ("badly") + chever ("happen", "come to a head"), from Vulgar Latin *capare, from Latin caput ("head") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English mischef, from Old French meschief, misfortune, from meschever, to end badly : mes-, badly; + chever, to happen, come to an end (from Vulgar Latin *capāre, to come to a head, from *capum, head, from Latin caput). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I. v.51 (423, 6) You wait on nature's mischief!] _Nature's mischief_ is mischief done to nature, violation of nature's order committed by wickedness.”
“Sometimes the things he did in the house were what we call mischief because they annoy us, such as hammering the woodwork to pieces, tearing bits out of the leaves of books, working holes in chair seats, or pounding a cardboard box to pieces.”
“The one compensation for all this mischief is the rich additions to the apologetical and critical literature of the books of the New Testament, and the earliest history of the Christian Church, which it has drawn from the pens of Thiersch, Ebrard, and many others.”
“And there was more yet of what we call mischief brewing in another quarter to like hurt.”
“And the mischief is the greater, and the ground the more cumbered, if it be a high, large, spreading tree, and if it be an old tree of long standing.”
“His barrister, John Kelsey-Fry QC, suggested his client was not alone in creating what he described as "mischief" in the egg industry.”
“What's your evidence that "mischief" is more rife in neuroscience than in physics?”
“The potential for political fraud and mischief is not uniquely associated with either the current system or a national popular vote.”
“Oh, just a little fun, skipper," Grief protested with the apologetic air of a schoolboy caught in mischief by an elder.”
“To this day, he loves dabbling in mischief, often with teammate Jameer Nelson.”
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