What does prank mean?

Definitions for prank

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. buffoonery, clowning, japery, frivolity, harlequinade, pranknoun

    acting like a clown or buffoon

  2. antic, joke, prank, trick, caper, put-onverb

    a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement

  3. prankverb

    dress or decorate showily or gaudily

    "Roses were pranking the lawn"

  4. prankverb

    dress up showily

    "He pranked himself out in his best clothes"


  1. pranknoun

    An evil deed; a malicious trick, an act of cruel deception.

  2. pranknoun

    A practical joke or mischievous trick.

  3. prankverb

    To adorn in a showy manner; to dress or equip ostentatiously.

  4. prankverb

    To perform a practical joke on; to trick.

  5. prankverb

    To call someone's phone and promptly hang up

  6. Etymology: From pranken, probably from pronken, proncken. Cognate with prunken, prunken, prunke. Connected also with prangen, prangen, pragt, all from pranganan, from brAngh-. Sense of "mischievous act" from earlier verbal sense of "to be crafty or subtle, set in order, adjust". See also prink, prance.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Pranknoun

    A frolick; a wild flight; a ludicrous trick; a wicked act.

    Lay home to him;
    Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear with. Sha.

    Such is thy audacious wickedness,
    Thy lewd, pestif’rous and dissentious pranks;
    The very infants prattle of thy pride. William Shakespeare.

    They caused the table to be covered and meat set on, which was no sooner set down, than in came the harpies, and played their accustomed pranks. Walter Raleigh.

    They put on their cloaths, and played all those pranks you have taken notice of. Joseph Addison, Guardian.

  2. To PRANKverb

    To decorate; to dress or adjust to ostentation.

    Etymology: pronken, Dutch.

    Some prank their ruffs, and others timely dight
    Their gay attire. Fairy Queen.

    In wine and meats she flow’d above the bank,
    And in excess exceeded her own might,
    In sumptuous tire she joy’d herself to prank,
    But of her love too lavish. Fairy Queen.

    These are tribunes of the people,
    The tongues o’ th’ common mouth: I despise them:
    For they do prank them in authority
    Against all noble sufferance. William Shakespeare.

    Your high self,
    The gracious mark o’ th’ land, you have obscur’d
    With a swain’s wearing; and me, poor lowly maid,
    Most goddess-like prank’d up. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    ’Tis that miracle, and queen of gems,
    That nature pranks, her mind attracts my soul. William Shakespeare.

    I had not unlock’d my lips
    In this unhallowed air, but that this jugler
    Would think to charm my judgment as mine eyes,
    Obtruding false rules, prankt in reason’s garb. John Milton.


  1. prank

    A practical joke, or prank, is a mischievous trick played on someone, generally causing the victim to experience embarrassment, perplexity, confusion, or discomfort. A person who performs a practical joke is called a "practical joker" or "prankster". Other terms for practical jokes include gag, rib, jape, or shenanigan. Practical jokes differ from confidence tricks or hoaxes in that the victim finds out, or is let in on the joke, rather than being talked into handing over money or other valuables. Practical jokes are generally lighthearted and without lasting effect; they aim to make the victim feel humbled or foolish, but not victimized or humiliated. Thus most practical jokes are affectionate gestures of humour and designed to encourage laughter. However, practical jokes performed with cruelty can constitute bullying, whose intent is to harass or exclude rather than reinforce social bonds through ritual humbling.Some countries in Western culture traditionally emphasize the carrying out of practical jokes on April Fools' Day and Mischief Night.


  1. prank

    A prank is a practical joke or mischievous act intended to trick or tease someone, often in a humorous or playful manner. It typically involves surprising, embarrassing, or annoying the subject, without causing them severe harm or damage. Despite the intentions, a prank might be considered disrespectful or harmful if it crosses certain lines. Pranks are commonly used as a form of entertainment or celebration, especially during events like April Fool's Day.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prankverb

    to adorn in a showy manner; to dress or equip ostentatiously; -- often followed by up; as, to prank up the body. See Prink

  2. Prankverb

    to make ostentatious show

  3. Pranknoun

    a gay or sportive action; a ludicrous, merry, or mischievous trick; a caper; a frolic

  4. Prankadjective

    full of gambols or tricks

  5. Etymology: [Cf. E. prink, also G. prangen, prunken, to shine, to make a show, Dan. prange, prunke, Sw. prunka, D. pronken.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prank

    prangk, v.t. to display or adorn showily: to put in right order.—v.i. to make great show.—n. a sportive action: a mischievous trick.—n. Prank′er.—adv. Prank′ingly.—adjs. Prank′ish, Prank′some. [Closely akin to prink, a form of prick.]

Editors Contribution

  1. prankverb

    To play a trick on (someone).

    We pranked my sister in her bed.

    Submitted by zakaria1409 on July 15, 2022  

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prank in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prank in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of prank in a Sentence

  1. Henry Reese:

    It was very difficult to understand. It looked like a sort of bad prank, and it didn't have any sense of reality.

  2. Kyle Plush:

    Kyle Plush parents do it how Kyle Plush parents did it in the old days, write it down on an index card and the card is handed to someone somehow sending the person dispatching on that channel, he said. Plush suffocated after he became trapped under the third-row seat that flipped and pinned him while he was trying to reach his tennis equipment. The teenager told 911 operators where he was located, but authorities were not able to find him. A deputy sent to the scene soon after called in to report that he could n’t find anyone trapped in a van, and questioned if the call had been a prank. 911 DISPATCHER WHO ANSWERED CALL FROM BOY CRUSHED BY MINIVAN SEAT COMPLAINED ABOUT JOB DAYS BEFORE INCIDENT Police said Amber Smith, the 911 operator who answered Plush’s second call, failed to relay information to the additional officers who were at the scene. During the call, Plush explained to Smith the call was not a joke. I am trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of the Seven Hills... Send officers immediately, Plush pleaded. I ’m almost dead.

  3. Shannon Tonroy:

    We all actually kind of thought that this was their way of pranking us, you know, they, they, you know, the kids go in and prank them while they turn around and prank the kids. And that would have been absolutely fantastic, a great way to have dealt with it.

  4. Darnell Hicks:

    I didnt think nothing of it [at first], i thought they were just playing games with me, like a prank.

  5. Isaiah Hart:

    It was supposed to be parties and senior trips and senior skip day and senior prank, we didn't get to do any of it.

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Translations for prank

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"prank." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prank>.

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