Definition of mischievous adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈmɪstʃɪvəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɪstʃɪvəs//
    Describing annoying traits
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  1. 1enjoying playing tricks and annoying people synonym naughty a mischievous boy a mischievous grin/smile/look Her eyes danced with mischievous amusement. She looked slightly mischievous. See related entries: Describing annoying traits
  2. 2(formal) (of an action or a statement) causing trouble, such as damaging somebody’s reputation mischievous lies/gossip
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Anglo-Norman French meschevous, from Old French meschever ‘come to an unfortunate end’, from mes- ‘adversely’ + chever ‘come to an end’ (from chef ‘head’). The early sense was ‘unfortunate ’or‘ calamitous’, later ‘having harmful effects’; the sense ‘playfully troublesome’ dates from the late 17th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mischievous