Definition of mischievous in English:



  • 1(of a person, animal, or their behavior) causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way.

    ‘two mischievous kittens had decorated the bed with shredded newspaper’
    • ‘Sam shook his head, and a slightly mischievous smile appeared on his face.’
    • ‘This politician is charming and likeable but carries the air of a bit of a mischievous rogue.’
    • ‘She smiled at the mussed blonde hair and the cute, slightly mischievous look on Adrian's face.’
    • ‘You never saw two siblings that were more mischievous.’
    • ‘His mother keeps a careful eye on the youngster to stop him being mischievous.’
    • ‘I am not being mischievous, but just stating the facts as I see them.’
    • ‘I turned back to Chase and gave him a little mischievous smile.’
    • ‘His dark brown eyes had the same mischievous glint.’
    • ‘She almost believed him until she saw the mischievous gleam in his brown eyes.’
    • ‘A council has waged war on mischievous Halloween youngsters by banning children from buying eggs, it emerged today.’
    • ‘Kyle looked a bit upset but Jonathan just got a mischievous look on his face.’
    • ‘The two boys looked at each other, and a little mischievous grin developed between them.’
    • ‘He gave her a little mischievous smile and returned his attention back to the teacher.’
    • ‘Me, I love my nephew to death, but I think he needs to be a bit more mischievous.’
    • ‘He phoned a pal who told him to try to ease the mischievous kitten from under the machine using cooking oil.’
    • ‘Barry grins back, a natural expression that makes him look mischievous.’
    • ‘I can be playful, mischievous, or silly depending on how you look at things.’
    • ‘Sure he was a bit mischievous, but so was she.’
    • ‘I could see that same mischievous glint in his eyes which was once a part of his personality.’
    • ‘Byron was shoved out of the way rather forcefully by two identical twins with very mischievous grins.’
    playful, teasing, wicked, impish, puckish, roguish, waggish, arch
    naughty, bad, badly behaved, misbehaving, disobedient, troublesome, vexatious, full of mischief
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    1. 1.1(of an action or thing) causing or intended to cause harm or trouble.
      ‘a mischievous allegation for which there is not a shred of evidence’
      • ‘He gave a mischievous response when asked if he will continue to speak his mind if he feels circumstances demand that.’
      • ‘He simply cannot understand how reasonable people allow such a mischievous system to endure.’
      • ‘He is always doing something mischievous and looks guilty at all times.’
      • ‘This practice of profiling is mischievous and harmful to a tolerant and developing society.’
      • ‘Can anyone direct us to where these mischievous articles have appeared?’
      • ‘At some point, the paper will do something mischievous that prompts questions to be asked of its management.’
      malicious, malevolent, hostile, spiteful, bitter, venomous, poisonous, evil-intentioned, ill-natured, evil, baleful, vindictive, vengeful, vitriolic, rancorous, malign, malignant, pernicious, mean, nasty, harmful, hurtful, destructive, wounding, cruel, unkind, defamatory
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Mischievous is a three-syllable word. Take care not to use this incorrect four-syllable pronunciation: /misˈCHēvēəs/


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French meschevous, from Old French meschever come to an unfortunate end (see mischief). The early sense was unfortunate or calamitous later having harmful effects; the sense playfully troublesome dates from the late 17th century.