- maliciously or playfully annoying.
- causing annoyance, harm, or trouble.
- roguishly or slyly teasing, as a glance.
- harmful or injurious.
Origin of mischievous
The word mischievous has three syllables, mis-chie-vous, with the stress on the first syllable: [mis-chuh-vuh s] /ˈmɪs tʃə vəs/. There is a common tendency to shift the stress to the second syllable and say or write the word as if there were an extra letter i after the v, turning it into a four-syllable word: [mis-chee-vee-uh s] /mɪsˈtʃi vi əs/. These alterations of the pronunciation (and sometimes even the spelling) may occur in part because in many English words ie is pronounced like ee, as in chief, in part because many words end with [-ee-uh s] /-i əs/, spelled either -ious (as in devious ) or -eous (as in aqueous ), and in part because of confusion over where the second i in the word belongs. The Oxford English Dictionary reports that for some time in the evolution of the word—from about the sixteenth to the eighteenth century— mischievious was actually a fairly standard alternative spelling. Today, however, both the four-syllable spelling and the four-syllable pronunciation are generally regarded as nonstandard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mischievously
Indeed Obama has been trying, mischievously, to bury Huntsman with praise.Jon Huntsman Bets Against History, Taking on Obama in 2012
April 29, 2011
My father would remind us mischievously that all Iranians were in one way or another related to the Qajars.Family Secrets in Tehran
January 10, 2009
Do you not perceive that I am already overtaken by the Nymphs to whom you have mischievously exposed me?Phaedrus
"I thought the measure rather scant," she observed, mischievously.The Rise of Roscoe Paine
Joseph C. Lincoln
"And standing well in Cicero," added Uncle Johnny, mischievously.Highacres
"Must have been a whale, Ben," answered Roger, mischievously.Dave Porter At Bear Camp
"And the pup-pup-pergola, too," added Patricia mischievously.Miss Pat at School
- inclined to acts of mischief
- teasing; slightly maliciousa mischievous grin
- causing or intended to cause harma mischievous plot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for mischievously
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper