- 1Playful misbehaviour, especially on the part of children: she’ll make sure Danny doesn’t get into mischiefMore example sentences
naughtiness, badness, bad behaviour, misbehaviour, mischievousness, misconduct, misdemeanour, perversity, disobedience, pranks, tricks, larks, capers, nonsense, roguery, devilry, funny business; French diablerie• archaic deviltryimpishness, roguishness, devilment• rare rascality
- ‘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.
- 1.1Playfulness that is intended to tease or create trouble: her eyes twinkled with irrepressible mischiefMore example sentences
- 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.
- 2Harm or trouble caused by someone or something: she was bent on making mischiefMore example sentences
- 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.
- 2.1 [count noun] • archaic A person responsible for harm or annoyance.More example sentences
- What a mischief was that boy who trespassed behind the stage and over it only to slip and use her to break his fall.
- 3 Law A wrong or hardship that a statute is designed to remove or for which the common law affords a remedy: the statute was passed to prevent a mischief in respect of which the defendant was already under a duty at common lawMore example sentences
- This mischief has now been remedied by section 51 of the Supreme Court Act 1981.
- The mischief that section 42 is designed to prevent is repeated litigation against the same person on the same issue.
- It seems to come to this: what is a situation where the statute that is then enacted upon its proper construction happens to go beyond remedying the mischief?
do someone (or oneself) a mischief
- British • informal Injure someone or oneself: I would have done myself a mischief if I’d carried onMore example sentences
- She leapt out of her stretch position without doing herself a mischief that would be regretted later, and called the story in to the news desk.
- For God's sake, calm down before you do yourself a mischief!
- ‘Steady on,’ said a male voice from within, ‘you'll do yourself a mischief.’
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').