mischievousness

mischievous

[mis-chuh-vuhs]
adjective
1.
maliciously or playfully annoying.
2.
causing annoyance, harm, or trouble.
3.
roguishly or slyly teasing, as a glance.
4.
harmful or injurious.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English mischevous < Anglo-French meschevous. See mischief, -ous

mischievously, adverb
mischievousness, noun
nonmischievous, adjective
nonmischievously, adverb
nonmischievousness, noun
unmischievous, adjective
unmischievously, adverb


The word mischievous has three syllables, mis-chie-vous, with the stress on the first syllable: [mis-chuh-vuhs] . There is a common tendency to shift the stress to the second syllable and say or write the word as if there were an extra letter i after the v, turning it into a four-syllable word: [mis-chee-vee-uhs]. These alterations of the pronunciation (and sometimes even the spelling) may occur in part because in many English words ie is pronounced like ee, as in chief, in part because many words end with [-ee-uhs] spelled either -ious (as in devious ) or -eous (as in aqueous ), and in part because of confusion over where the second i in the word belongs. The Oxford English Dictionary reports that for some time in the evolution of the word—from about the sixteenth to the eighteenth century— mischievious was actually a fairly standard alternative spelling. Today, however, both the four-syllable spelling and the four-syllable pronunciation are generally regarded as nonstandard.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mischievous (ˈmɪstʃɪvəs)
 
adj
1.  inclined to acts of mischief
2.  teasing; slightly malicious: a mischievous grin
3.  causing or intended to cause harm: a mischievous plot
 
'mischievously
 
adv
 
'mischievousness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mischievous
early 14c., "unfortunate, disastrous" (see mischief). Sense of "playfully malicious or annoying" first recorded 1670s. Related: Mischievously.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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