[ mis-chif ]
See synonyms for mischief on Thesaurus.com
  1. conduct or activity that playfully causes petty annoyance.

  2. a tendency or disposition to tease, vex, or annoy.

  1. a vexatious or annoying action.

  2. harm or trouble, especially as a result of an agent or cause.

  3. an injury or evil caused by a person or other agent or cause.

  4. a cause or source of harm, evil, or annoyance.

  5. the devil.

Origin of mischief

1250–1300; Middle English meschef<Old French, noun derivative of meschever to end badly, come to grief. See mis-1, achieve

synonym study For mischief

4. See damage.

Other words for mischief

Words Nearby mischief

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mischief in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mischief


/ (ˈmɪstʃɪf) /

  1. wayward but not malicious behaviour, usually of children, that causes trouble, irritation, etc

  2. a playful inclination to behave in this way or to tease or disturb

  1. injury or harm caused by a person or thing

  2. a person, esp a child, who is mischievous

  3. a source of trouble, difficulty, etc: floods are a great mischief to the farmer

Origin of mischief

C13: from Old French meschief disaster, from meschever to meet with calamity; from mes- mis- 1 + chever to reach an end, from chef end, chief

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with mischief


see make mischief.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.