Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Causing mischief.
  • adj. Playful in a naughty or teasing way.
  • adj. Troublesome; irritating: a mischievous prank.
  • adj. Causing harm, injury, or damage: mischievous rumors and falsehoods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Causing mischief; injurious.
  • adj. Troublesome, cheeky, badly behaved.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Causing mischief; harmful; hurtful; -- now often applied where the evil is done carelessly or in sport.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Producing or tending to produce mischief or harm; injurious; deleterious; hurtful.
  • Fond of mischief; full of tricks; teasing or troublesome: as, a mischievous boy.
  • Synonyms Destructive, detrimental. See injury.
  • Roguish.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. deliberately causing harm or damage
  • adj. naughtily or annoyingly playful

Etymologies

Middle English mischevous, from mischef, mischief; see mischief.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman meschevous, from Old French meschever, from mes- ("mis-") + chever ("come to an end") (from chef ("head")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Palmer looked at Ariana, his expression mischievous, and popped another piece of gum into his mouth.

    Sweet Deceit

  • Of course, many of her own things had taken to hiding in mischievous, little places as well.

    Excerpt: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

  • One of the highlights of his set yesterday was the title track, a study in mischievous innuendo.

    Jazzfest: Going Crazy With John Boutté - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Dave mentioned the vocabulary words she offers up during brainstorming sessions and how she this morning suggested the word mischievous and then offered to spell it for him.

    On challenging my youngest child « The Life and Times of Organic Mama

  • She did not draw it away until he had raised it to his lips, when she told him in mischievous tones to bring her a rose from Hades.

    Folk Tales From Many Lands

  • He looked at her, and made his expression mischievous, or meant to make it.

    The Folly Of Eustace 1896

  • If the force of the disease made him to fall, the malice of the devil made him to fall into the fire or water; so mischievous is he where he gains possession and power in any soul.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

  • Saraki also appealed to those he called mischievous people who wanted to use the present situation to cause problem to stop, saying this is about all of us.

    AllAfrica News: Latest

  • "Then I had 'im right whar I wanted' im, an 'I up an' told 'im that I had a wife that was all the world to me, an' that durin 'my term mischievous folks had lied ag'in me an' persuaded 'er to git a divorce, an' that a oily - tongued scamp was a-tryin 'to marry' er fer what little land she had.

    Northern Georgia sketches,

  • Now that everyone has e-mail, it’s simply too easy for messages to be bcc’d or forwarded in mischievous ways.

    Simple Security

Comments

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  • Three syllables only.

    November 8, 2009

  • It would be mischievous of you to pronounce this word miss-CHEE-vee-us when you know how much I hate that.

    December 9, 2006