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prank1

[prangk] /præŋk/
noun
1.
a trick of an amusing, playful, or sometimes malicious nature.
Origin of prank1
1520-1530
First recorded in 1520-30; origin uncertain
Synonyms
caper, escapade, antic, shenanigan.

prank2

[prangk] /præŋk/
verb (used with object)
1.
to dress or adorn in an ostentatious manner:
They were all pranked out in their fanciest clothes.
verb (used without object)
2.
to make an ostentatious show or display.
Origin
1540-50; akin to Dutch pronken to show off, strut, pronk show, finery, Middle Low German prank pomp
Related forms
unpranked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prank
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Having retired to his own house, he often played off many a prank.

  • In earliest youth he had been a merry prank; he was still a prank, but not often merry.

    A Great Man Arnold Bennett
  • She smiled at him glowingly, thinking she had caught him at a prank.

    Life Sentence James McConnell
  • Whether divine or of what origin I will not have judged by that night's prank of mine.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope
  • It might be a prank—or something like that—but it would n't be wrong.

    The Cross-Cut

    Courtney Ryley Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for prank

prank1

/præŋk/
noun
1.
a mischievous trick or joke, esp one in which something is done rather than said
Derived Forms
prankish, adjective
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin

prank2

/præŋk/
verb
1.
(transitive) to dress or decorate showily or gaudily
2.
(intransitive) to make an ostentatious display
Word Origin
C16: from Middle Dutch pronken; related to German Prunk splendour, prangen to be in full splendour
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 prank
n.

"a ludicrous trick" [Johnson], 1520s, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to obsolete verb prank "decorate, dress up" (mid-15c.), related to Middle Low German prank "display" (cf. also Dutch pronken, German prunken "to make a show, to strut"). The verb in the modern sense also is from 1520s. Related: Pranked; pranking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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