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mischief

[mis-chif] /ˈmɪs tʃɪf/
noun
1.
conduct or activity that playfully causes petty annoyance.
2.
a tendency or disposition to tease, vex, or annoy.
3.
a vexatious or annoying action.
4.
harm or trouble, especially as a result of an agent or cause.
5.
an injury or evil caused by a person or other agent or cause.
6.
a cause or source of harm, evil, or annoyance.
7.
the devil.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English meschef < Old French, noun derivative of meschever to end badly, come to grief. See mis-1, achieve
Synonyms
4. hurt. See damage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mischiefs
  • But the practical mischiefs of the existing abuses are not in the possible future only.
British Dictionary definitions for mischiefs

mischief

/ˈmɪstʃɪf/
noun
1.
wayward but not malicious behaviour, usually of children, that causes trouble, irritation, etc
2.
a playful inclination to behave in this way or to tease or disturb
3.
injury or harm caused by a person or thing
4.
a person, esp a child, who is mischievous
5.
a source of trouble, difficulty, etc: floods are a great mischief to the farmer
Word Origin
C13: from Old French meschief disaster, from meschever to meet with calamity; from mes-mis-1 + chever to reach an end, from chef end, chief
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mischiefs

mischief

n.

c.1300, "evil condition, misfortune, need, want," from Old French meschief "misfortune, harm, trouble; annoyance, vexation" (12c., Modern French méchef), verbal noun from meschever "come or bring to grief, be unfortunate" (opposite of achieve), from mes- "badly" (see mis- (2)) + chever "happen, come to a head," from Vulgar Latin *capare "head," from Latin caput "head" (see capitulum). Meaning "harm or evil considered as the work of some agent or due to some cause" is from late 15c. Sense of "playful malice" first recorded 1784.

Mischief Night in 19c. England was the eve of May Day and of Nov. 5, both major holidays, and perhaps the original point was pilfering for the next day's celebration and bonfire; but in Yorkshire, Scotland, and Ireland the night was Halloween. The useful Middle English verb mischieve (early 14c.) has, for some reason, fallen from currency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with mischiefs

mischief

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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19
20
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