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prank

1
[prangk]
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noun
  1. a trick of an amusing, playful, or sometimes malicious nature.
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Origin of prank

1
First recorded in 1520–30; origin uncertain

Synonyms for prank

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prank

2
[prangk]
verb (used with object)
  1. to dress or adorn in an ostentatious manner: They were all pranked out in their fanciest clothes.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make an ostentatious show or display.
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Origin of prank

2
1540–50; akin to Dutch pronken to show off, strut, pronk show, finery, Middle Low German prank pomp
Related formsun·pranked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for prank

horseplay, trick, lark, antic, gag, spoof, rollick, fancy, whim, sport, rib, levity, caper, tomfoolery, frolic, play, hotfoot, lightness, shine, fooling

Examples from the Web for prank

Contemporary Examples of prank

Historical Examples of prank

  • 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

prank

1
noun
  1. a mischievous trick or joke, esp one in which something is done rather than said
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Derived Formsprankish, adjective

Word Origin for prank

C16: of unknown origin

prank

2
verb
  1. (tr) to dress or decorate showily or gaudily
  2. (intr) to make an ostentatious display
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Word Origin for prank

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper