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Webster 1913 Edition


Mischievous

Mis′chie-vous

(mĭs′chē̍-vŭs)
,
Adj.
Causing mischief; harmful; hurtful; – now often applied where the evil is done carelessly or in sport;
as, a
mischievous
child
.
“Most mischievous foul sin.”
Shak.
This false, wily, doubling disposition is intolerably
mischievous
to society.
South.
Syn. – Harmful; hurtful; detrimental; noxious; pernicious; destructive.
Mis′chie-vous-ly
,
adv.
Mis′chie-vous-ness
,
Noun.

Webster 1828 Edition


Mischievous

MIS'CHIEVOUS

,
Adj.
Harmful; hurtful; injurious; making mischief; of persons; as a mischievous man or disposition.
1.
Hurtful; noxious; as a mischievous thing.
2.
Inclined to do harm; as a mischievous boy.

Definition 2021


mischievous

mischievous

English

Alternative forms

Adjective

mischievous (comparative more mischievous, superlative most mischievous)

  1. Causing mischief; injurious.
    • 1793, Joseph Butler, The Analogy of Religion:
      ...; that good and bad actions at present are naturally rewarded and punished, not only as beneficial and mischievous to society, but also as virtuous and civious; ...
    • 1892, Henry Sidgwick, Outlines of the History of Ethics:
      On the whole, therefore, he concludes that the point of indulgence at which these self-passions or self-affections begin to be mischievous to the individual coincides with that at which they begin to be mischievous to society; ...
  2. Troublesome, cheeky, badly behaved.
    Matthew had a twin brother called Edward, who was always mischievous and badly behaved.

Usage notes

The spelling "misch(i)evious" and similar ones can be found since the 16th century, so the corresponding pronunciation is at least as old. But despite being common in a wide range of social classes today, these spellings and the corresponding pronunciation are still considered nonstandard and often seen as a sign of a lack of education.

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