What does mischief mean?

Definitions for mischief
ˈmɪs tʃɪfmis·chief

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word mischief.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mischief, mischief-making, mischievousness, deviltry, devilry, devilment, rascality, roguery, roguishness, shenanigannoun

    reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others

  2. maleficence, mischief, balefulnessnoun

    the quality or nature of being harmful or evil


  1. mischiefnoun

    Harm or evil caused by an agent or brought about by a particular cause.

  2. mischiefnoun

    One who causes mischief. In a milder sense, one who causes petty annoyances. mischief-maker.

  3. mischiefnoun

    Vexatious or annoying conduct.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. MISCHIEFnoun

    Etymology: meschef, old French.

    The law in that case punisheth the thought; for better is a mischief than an inconvenience. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    Come you murth’ring ministers!
    Wherever in your sightless substances
    You wait on nature’s mischief. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs. Psal. lii. 2.

    Was I the cause of mischief, or the man,
    Whose lawless lust the fatal war began? John Dryden, Æn.

    Come not thou with mischief-making beauty,
    To interpose between us, look not on him. Nicholas Rowe.

    States call in foreigners to assist them against a common enemy; but the mischief was, these allies, would never allow that the common enemy was subdued. Jonathan Swift.

  2. To Mischiefverb

    To hurt; to harm; to injure.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    If the greatest inward heat be not sweetened by meekness, or not governed by prudence, can it bring to our souls any benefit? rather it mischiefs them. Thomas Sprat, Sermons.


  1. Mischief

    Mischief or malicious mischief is the name for a criminal offenses that is defined differently in different legal jurisdictions. While the wrongful acts will often involve what is popularly described as vandalism, there can be a legal differentiation between vandalism and mischief. The etymology of the word comes from Old French meschief, which means "misfortune", from meschever, "to end badly".


  1. mischief

    Mischief is behavior or activity that is playful, mischievous, or intended to cause minor annoyance or harm. It usually involves pranks, tricks or disobedience, particularly conducted in a playful, teasing or non-malicious manner. However, the term can also refer to more malicious or damaging actions, such as vandalism.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Mischiefnoun

    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

  2. Mischiefnoun

    cause of trouble or vexation; trouble

  3. Mischiefverb

    to do harm to


  1. Mischief

    The etymology of the word comes from Old French meschief, which means "misfortune,' from meschever, "to end badly." In United States criminal law, mischief is an offense against property that does not involve conversion. It typically involves any damage, defacement, alteration, or destruction of property. Common forms include vandalism, graffiti, or some other destruction or defacement of property other than arson. Governed by state law, criminal mischief is committed when a perpetrator, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he/she has such right, intentionally damages property of another person, intentionally participates in the destruction of property of another person, or participates in the reckless damage or destruction of property of another person. Criminal mischief is usually a misdemeanor. In computer science and hacker jargon, mischief is a form of attack that clearly indicates the breach of the system and constitutes a form of injury or an infringement of rights, more specifically invasion of privacy, against which legal action can be taken to secure damages. Grey hat hackers often use mischief as a way to signal security breaches to system administrators.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Mischief

    mis′chif, n. an ill consequence: evil: injury: damage, hurt: (coll.) the devil, as in 'What the mischief,' &c.—n. Mis′chief-mak′er, one who incites to mischief.—adjs. Mis′chief-mak′ing, causing mischief; Mis′chievous, causing mischief: injurious: prone to mischief.—adv. Mis′chievously.—n. Mis′chievousness.—Play the mischief with, to disturb anything greatly. [O. Fr. meschef, from mes-, ill, chef—L. caput, the head.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. mischief


Editors Contribution

  1. mischief

    naughty behavior, misbehaviour in a playful way sometimes causing harm

    The little mischiefs of childhood are no longer funny.

    Submitted by anonymous on March 15, 2019  

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How to pronounce mischief?

How to say mischief in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of mischief in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of mischief in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of mischief in a Sentence

  1. JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699):

    The devil and the damned have punishment without pity, misery without mercy, sorrow without succor, crying without comfort, mischief without measure, torments without end and past imagination. John Trapp

  2. William Cobbett:

    It is no small mischief to a boy, that many of the best years of his life should be devoted to the learning of what can never be of any real use to any human being. His mind is necessarily rendered frivolous and superficial by the long habit of attaching importance to words instead of things; to sound instead of sense.

  3. Jitendra Singh:

    There have also been earlier reports of Pakistan infiltration and cross-border mischief in this area.

  4. Michel de Montaigne:

    No man is exempt from saying silly things the mischief is to say them deliberately.

  5. Harry Belafonte:

    For over 80 years, Sidney and I laughed, cried and made as much mischief as we could. He was truly my brother and partner in trying to make this world a little better.He certainly made mine a whole lot better.

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Translations for mischief

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • беляBulgarian
  • škoda, darebák, spoušť, rošťárna, rošťák, darebáctví, vandalCzech
  • direidi, drygioniWelsh
  • balladeDanish
  • Unfug, Unheil, StörenfriedGerman
  • διαβολιά, άτακτος, αταξία, σκανδαλιάρηςGreek
  • petolonEsperanto
  • travesura, picardía, travieso, diablura, daño, maldad, revoltosoSpanish
  • بدبختیPersian
  • pahanteko, ilkivalta, kiusanteko, kujeilu, ilkamointi, jäynäFinnish
  • espiègle, bêtise, sottise, polissonnerie, espièglerieFrench
  • mischiallIrish
  • trioblaidScottish Gaelic
  • शरारतHindi
  • baj, bajkeverőHungarian
  • danno, dispetto, bravata, vessatorio, indisponente, malanno, birboneria, malandrino, birboneItalian
  • いたずらっ子, 悪戯Japanese
  • ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿತನKannada
  • malumLatin
  • ugagnNorwegian
  • szkoda, niegodziwośćPolish
  • шалость, шалун, проказник, вред, озорник, зло, озорствоRussian
  • potvorstvo, zlota, darebák, nezbedník, potvoraSlovak
  • bus, bråkstake, odåga, hyss, buse, bråkmakare, ofogSwedish
  • пустощіUkrainian

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"mischief." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/mischief>.

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    very irritable
    A inexpiable
    B usurious
    C bristly
    D lank

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