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mischievous

[mis-chuh-vuh s] /ˈmɪs tʃə vəs/
adjective
1.
maliciously or playfully annoying.
2.
causing annoyance, harm, or trouble.
3.
roguishly or slyly teasing, as a glance.
4.
harmful or injurious.
Origin of mischievous
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English mischevous < Anglo-French meschevous. See mischief, -ous
Related forms
mischievously, adverb
mischievousness, noun
nonmischievous, adjective
nonmischievously, adverb
nonmischievousness, noun
unmischievous, adjective
unmischievously, adverb
Pronunciation note
The word mischievous has three syllables, mis-chie-vous, with the stress on the first syllable:
[mis-chuh-vuh s] /ˈmɪs tʃə vəs/ (Show IPA).
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mischievously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Do you not perceive that I am already overtaken by the Nymphs to whom you have mischievously exposed me?

    Phaedrus Plato
  • "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

    Jane Abbott
  • "Must have been a whale, Ben," answered Roger, mischievously.

    Dave Porter At Bear Camp Edward Stratemeyer
  • "And the pup-pup-pergola, too," added Patricia mischievously.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther
  • "I told you I was in the steamboat business," put in Mr. Ackerman mischievously.

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • "But even they had to come to America by boat," suggested Doris mischievously.

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • Yes,” answered Eltje mischievously, “I wish you all the luck you deserve.

    Cab and Caboose

    Kirk Munroe
British Dictionary definitions for mischievously

mischievous

/ˈmɪstʃɪvəs/
adjective
1.
inclined to acts of mischief
2.
teasing; slightly malicious: a mischievous grin
3.
causing or intended to cause harm: a mischievous plot
Derived Forms
mischievously, adverb
mischievousness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for mischievously

mischievous

adj.

early 14c., "unfortunate, disastrous," probably from mischief + -ous. Sense of "playfully malicious or annoying" first recorded 1670s. Related: Mischievously; mischievousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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