View synonyms for mischievous


[ mis-chuh-vuhs ]


  1. maliciously or playfully annoying.
  2. causing annoyance, harm, or trouble.
  3. roguishly or slyly teasing, as a glance.
  4. harmful or injurious.


/ ˈmɪstʃɪvəs /


  1. inclined to acts of mischief
  2. teasing; slightly malicious

    a mischievous grin

  3. causing or intended to cause harm

    a mischievous plot

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Pronunciation Note

The word mischievous has three syllables, mis-chie-vous, with the stress on the first syllable: [mis, -ch, uh, -v, uh, s]. 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]. 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], 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.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈmischievousness, noun
  • ˈmischievously, adverb

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Other Words From

  • mischie·vous·ly adverb
  • mischie·vous·ness noun
  • non·mischie·vous adjective
  • non·mischie·vous·ly adverb
  • non·mischie·vous·ness noun
  • un·mischie·vous adjective
  • un·mischie·vous·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of mischievous1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English mischevous, from Anglo-French meschevous; equivalent to mischief + -ous

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Example Sentences

Brex was founded by the mischievous Brazilian duo of Henrique Dubugras, an iPhone “jailbreaker” at age 12, and Pedro Franceschi, who had to shut down his gaming company for patent violations at 14.

From Ozy

Other pet owners may only need to get to the bottom of the shenanigans of a mischievous pet.

She later adds, in a mischievous understatement, “All that remained now was for Jones and Hill to go insane.”

In a mischievous turn, the anti-capitalist rap-metal group Rage Against the Machine was chosen as musical guest.

The beloved author of Madeline, a story about a mischievous Parisian girl, was also quite the rebel.

From Ozy

He suppressed a belch and then looked up at her with a mischievous grin.

A mischievous cross between Sunset Boulevard and Adult Swim, BoJack Horseman boasts an exciting cast of supporting characters.

He was a biggish lad, with a boyish, slightly mischievous grin, and thoughtfulness and consideration were seamed in his character.

The biggest personality is Little My, utterly self-centred, mischievous, and rancidly funny.

It lands with mischievous accuracy, mottling the crotch of my jeans.

Even Benny caught the fever of conquering the mischievous water which slipped from their grasp like quicksilver.

I can take good care of myself; beside, with a mischievous glance into his serious eyes, I really dont know whom to marry.

I have seen in a single night the most flourishing orange-tree stripped of every leaf by this mischievous creature.

Of course, I used to get terribly frightened, fearing that the men would attack me for carrying such a mischievous monkey.

Mischievous wags are a kind of insects which are in everybodys way and plentiful in all countries.


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