Definition of mischief in English:


See synonyms for mischief

Translate mischief into Spanish


  • 1Playful misbehavior or troublemaking, especially in children.

    ‘she'll make sure Danny doesn't get into mischief’
    • ‘‘David was always up to mischief with his mates,’ Tracy said.’
    • ‘I can't understand why people don't want this thing when the children are so bored and get up to mischief.’
    • ‘A group of youngsters are up to mischief in a local wood when they decide to go in search of a derelict house where, according to local legend, a weird old witch used to live.’
    • ‘He came in on Sunday night with that evil little gleam in his eye which signals to everyone, except Tess, that he is up to mischief.’
    • ‘Until it is developed in some way, it will continue to be a secret little haven where youngsters can gather to get up to mischief.’
    • ‘But sometimes puppies get into mischief that's more risky than amusing, and this adventuresome spirit can spell danger.’
    • ‘They are both six years old and are always up to mischief.’
    • ‘Dogs, just like humans, forget, get distracted, make mistakes, get into mischief and act on impulse.’
    • ‘But, like anyone with too much fun time on his or her hands, it was also easier to get into mischief.’
    • ‘If they aren't out on the streets then they can't be up to mischief can they?’
    • ‘She estimates it was 20 to 30 seconds during which she had her back turned on these students, when they got up to mischief and this incident happened.’
    • ‘It merely emphasises the fact that parents are aware that children tend to get into mischief and do not exercise the same degree of responsibility for safety as adults.’
    • ‘Pranks and mischief began to be played out to represent the mischievous behaviour attributed to witches and the fairies.’
    • ‘These shenanigans are just a little fun mischief, and aside from the multiple names at Safeway don't even disturb the data-mining enterprise behind the cards.’
    • ‘Yes, we were naughty at times and got up to some serious mischief in our teenage years, but there were limitations and boundaries that would never be crossed.’
    • ‘Bubbles is a little monkey, which always gets into mischief and problems.’
    • ‘But if they're bored and have nothing to do they find mischief.’
    • ‘Not that there's anything wrong with a bit of harmless mischief now and then.’
    • ‘You can find some harmless mischief to get yourself into, can't you?’
    • ‘Then, as they were spooning the dough into cookie shapes, they returned to their usual mischief.’
    • ‘That is going to create enormous potential for mischief and worse.’
    naughtiness, badness, bad behaviour, misbehaviour, mischievousness, misconduct, misdemeanour, perversity, disobedience, pranks, tricks, larks, capers, nonsense, roguery, devilry, funny business
    impishness, roguishness, devilment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Playfulness that is intended to tease, mock, or create trouble.
      ‘her eyes twinkled with irrepressible mischief’
      • ‘She rubbed my arm comfortingly with a small twinkle of mischief that I had seen somewhere else.’
      • ‘Abby smirked, pure mischief dancing in her eyes.’
      • ‘There was a slight mischief in her eyes and a smirk on his lips.’
      • ‘I smile at him, and I can read the mischief in his eyes.’
      • ‘He turned, mischief in his eyes, and pitched it at her head.’
      • ‘He leaned towards Christopher, a glimmer of mischief sparkling in his blue eyes.’
      • ‘Both twins grinned and raised their eyes to meet mine, mischief sparkling in them.’
      • ‘The fiery redhead grinned, mischief sparkled in those deep emerald eyes.’
      • ‘Mischief twinkled in his features for the first time since Anna had known him.’
      • ‘Josh nodded seriously, with mischief twinkling in his eyes.’
      • ‘Adam smiled then and mischief danced in his eyes for one last moment.’
      • ‘Lafayette smiled, his eyes sparkling with that boyish mischief again.’
      • ‘His striking blue eyes sparkled with boyish mischief.’
      • ‘Margaret with smiling mischief in her features might bother to ask if any young man has finally caught my fancy.’
      • ‘She stared blankly ahead and spoke in a voice devoid of her usual devilish mischief.’
      • ‘As a girl quietly in love, there is mischief in her graces, grace in her mischief.’
      • ‘His eyes were twinkling with mischief and a playful smile hovered on his lips.’
      • ‘As boys are wont to be, they were full of nonsense and mischief.’
      • ‘It could fairly be stated that, in his time, Stewart at least peeked into a couple of life's darker corners, but with mischief more than malice.’
      • ‘Sean saw me first, and elbowed Mark in the side, who snapped his head up angrily, saw me, and smiled in a way I had never seen a mix between mischief and malice.’
    2. 1.2Harm or trouble caused by someone or something.
      ‘she was bent on making mischief’
      • ‘The idea was to entice teenagers off the streets on Saturdays when they might be making mischief, but Sonja never imagined how successful it would be.’
      • ‘The former group are intent on making mischief, the latter on making meaning out of an event which still has none.’
      • ‘Such a thing can cause huge mischief, when these contradictory streams collide.’
      • ‘So this division has caused a great deal of mischief, a great deal of harm, a great deal of sorrow.’
      • ‘Or call it a girly choice, if you want to make a little mischief.’
      • ‘There was a remedy if the mischief caused by the breach could be removed.’
      • ‘I didn't hear any yelling, so daddy didn't cause any mischief.’
      • ‘New technology keeps showing up, making more mischief, or benefits, possible.’
      • ‘He wasn't creating any mischief, and he stayed on the cement next to his car.’
      • ‘Otherwise, in solving this case, we might create mischief for many, many other provisions.’
      • ‘How to cure that mischief has caused furious debate.’
      • ‘And he delights in the thought of making mischief closer to home, too.’
      • ‘The ‘pockets of resistance’ in the southern towns have been able to make mischief because they blend in with the local populations.’
      • ‘‘We are determined to starve this small number of localised extremists from being able to carry out their mischief,’ he said.’
      • ‘Now, I can't say whether they intended mischief or not, but in my books they have the right to be presumed innocent only until proven foreign.’
      • ‘Otherwise, in solving this case, we might create mischief for many, many other provisions.’
      • ‘But the real mischief created in this legislation, and where the angst and anguish will live with us for future generations, is this new regime that it creates.’
      • ‘Sure, they created lots of mischief and unnecessary work which cost a buck or two to put right, but that's all.’
      • ‘I suspect that this will in many respects backfire and is going to create a lot more mischief and a lot more misery.’
      • ‘It creates mischief and division in a good area where many people are working to eradicate those problems that do exist.’
      harm, hurt, an injury
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 archaic A person responsible for harm or annoyance.
      • ‘What a mischief was that boy who trespassed behind the stage and over it only to slip and use her to break his fall.’



/ˈmisCHəf/ /ˈmɪstʃəf/


Late Middle English (denoting misfortune or distress): from Old French meschief, from the verb meschever, from mes- ‘adversely’ + chever ‘come to an end’ (from chef ‘head’).