Mischief Mis"chief (m[i^]s"ch[i^]f), n. [OE. meschef bad result, OF. meschief; pref. mes- (L. minus less) + chief end, head, F. chef chief. See {Minus}, and {Chief}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Harm; damage; esp., disarrangement of order; trouble or vexation caused by human agency or by some living being, intentionally or not; often, calamity, mishap; trivial evil caused by thoughtlessness, or in sport. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs. --Ps. lii. 2. [1913 Webster]

The practice whereof shall, I hope, secure me from many mischiefs. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

2. Cause of trouble or vexation; trouble. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The mischief was, these allies would never allow that the common enemy was subdued. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

{To be in mischief}, to be doing harm or causing annoyance.

{To make mischief}, to do mischief, especially by exciting quarrels.

{To play the mischief}, to cause great harm; to throw into confusion. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

Syn: Damage; harm; hurt; injury; detriment; evil; ill.

Usage: {Mischief}, {Damage}, {Harm}. Damage is an injury which diminishes the value of a thing; harm is an injury which causes trouble or inconvenience; mischief is an injury which disturbs the order and consistency of things. We often suffer damage or harm from accident, but mischief always springs from perversity or folly. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • mischief — I noun annoyance, criminality, cruelty, damage, damnum, danger, detriment, devilment, deviltry, disservice, evil, evil conduct, fault, foul play, frolicsomeness, harm, harmful action, hurt, ill consequence, impishness, incommodum, infliction,… …   Law dictionary

  • mischief — ► NOUN 1) playful misbehaviour. 2) harm or injury caused by someone or something. ● do someone a mischief Cf. ↑do someone a mischief ORIGIN Old French meschief, from meschever come to an unfortunate end …   English terms dictionary

  • mischief — (n.) c.1300, evil condition, misfortune, need, want, from O.Fr. meschief misfortune, harm, trouble; annoyance, vexation (12c., Mod.Fr. méchef), verbal noun from meschever come or bring to grief, be unfortunate (opposite of achieve), from mes… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Mischief — Mis chief, v. t. To do harm to. [Obs.] Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mischief — *injury, hurt, damage, harm Analogous words: perniciousness, detrimentalness or detriment, deleteriousness, noxiousness, banefulness or bane (see corresponding adjectives at PERNICIOUS): *evil, ill: impairment, marring, spoiling (see… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mischief — [n] trouble, damage atrocity, catastrophe, devilment, devilry, dirty trick*, evil, fault, friskiness, frolicsomeness, funny business*, gag, harm, high jinks*, hurt, ill, impishness, injury, misbehavior, mischievousness, misconduct, misdoing,… …   New thesaurus

  • mischief — [mis′chif] n. [ME meschief < OFr < meschever, to come to grief < mes (see MIS 1) + chever, come to a head < chief, end, head (see CHIEF)] 1. harm, damage, or injury, esp. that done by a person 2. a cause or source of harm, damage, or… …   English World dictionary

  • Mischief — For other uses, see Mischief (disambiguation). H. Brückner, Mischief (1874) Mischief is a vexatious or annoying action, or, conduct or activity that playfully causes petty annoyance. Young children, when they hear of mischief, think of practical… …   Wikipedia

  • mischief — n. 1) to cause, do, make mischief 2) to be up to, get into mischief 3) malicious mischief 4) out of mischief (to stay out of mischief; to keep children out of mischief) 5) full of mischief 6) up to mischief * * * [ mɪstʃɪf] do get into mischief… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • mischief — mis|chief [ mıstʃıf ] noun uncount behavior or play, especially of children, that causes trouble but not serious harm to other people: be up to/get up to mischief (=do something bad): The boys are always up to some kind of mischief! get into… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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