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[prangk] /præŋk/
verb (used with object)
to dress or adorn in an ostentatious manner:
They were all pranked out in their fanciest clothes.
verb (used without object)
to make an ostentatious show or display.
Origin of prank2
1540-50; akin to Dutch pronken to show off, strut, pronk show, finery, Middle Low German prank pomp
Related forms
unpranked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pranked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The poles were pranked with nosegays, and a chaplet was hung round the horns of every ox.

    Harold, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The woodways were pranked with shadows and the fields with the purple of the asters.

    Anne Of The Island Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Some meadows in the distance, pranked with ranunculuses, looked like stretches of green water reflecting a starry sky.

    After the Divorce Grazia Deledda
  • The earth is so very fair, all pranked with "smalle flowres" and green leaves, that the sun is grievously loth to leave her.

    Red as a Rose is She Rhoda Broughton
  • Women and children, not at synagogue, showed themselves at the doors, pranked in their best.

  • And never was Corsanico more charming, all drenched in sunlight and pranked out with fresh green.

    Alone Norman Douglas
  • Why have you pranked yourself out, spent an hour I dare say in making yourself pretty to-day?

    The Invader Margaret L. Woods
British Dictionary definitions for pranked


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


(transitive) to dress or decorate showily or gaudily
(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 pranked



"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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