• WordNet 3.6
    • n mischief reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others
    • n mischief the quality or nature of being harmful or evil
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Mischief Cause of trouble or vexation; trouble. "The mischief was, these allies would never allow that the common enemy was subdued."
    • Mischief Harm; damage; esp., disarrangement of order; trouble or vexation caused by human agency or by some living being, intentionally or not; often, calamity, mishap; trivial evil caused by thoughtlessness, or in sport. "Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs .""The practice whereof shall, I hope, secure me from many mischiefs ."
    • v. t Mischief To do harm to.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n mischief A harmful or troublesome event, circumstance, or contingency; an action or occurrence attended with evil or vexation; an annoying, frustrating, or hurtful state or condition of things; misfortune; calamity: used with much latitude of application: as, some one is making mischief; the mischief is that he cannot keep his temper.
    • n mischief The act, state, course, or disposition of causing annoyance, trouble, or harm; vexatious or injurious operation or tendency; the working of damage or disaster: as, the clouds bode mischief; what mischief is he up to now? often used in a kindly or playful sense, or for affectionate excuse: as, the lad is full of mischief, but not vicious.
    • n mischief One who or that which does harm or causes injury or vexation; a source of trouble or annoyance: as, that child is a mischief.
    • n mischief Annoyance, injury, or damage caused or produced; harm; hurt: as, to do mischief; irremediable mischief: now never used in the plural.
    • n mischief The devil. [Colloq.]
    • n mischief Synonyms Damage, Harm, etc. See injury.
    • mischief To hurt; harm; ruin.
    • mischief To come to harm or misfortune; miscarry.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Mischief mis′chif an ill consequence: evil: injury: damage, hurt:
    • n Mischief mis′chif (coll.) the devil, as in 'What the mischief,' &c
    • ***


  • Henry Fielding
    “When children are doing nothing, they are doing mischief.”
  • Isaac Watts
    Isaac Watts
    “For Satan finds some mischief still For idle hands to do.”
  • George Washington
    “It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.”
  • Publilius Syrus
    “He who has a mind to do mischief will always find a pretense.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on.”
  • Proverb
    “Let not turn fun to mischief.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. meschef, bad result, OF. meschief,; pref. mes-,L. minus, less) + chief, end, head, F. chef, chief. See Minus, and Chief
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. meschef, from mes-, ill, chef—L. caput, the head.


In literature:

The moral condemnation was not frequent or strong, but the economic mischief was conceded by almost all.
"The Negro and the Nation" by George S. Merriam
Still, it must be told that the show they made of their wrath made Loki ready to do more mischief in Asgard.
"The Children of Odin" by Padraic Colum
It would do the King irreparable mischief if they went now to Spain; the feeling of anger would all return.
"The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853" by Queen Victoria
But some of these are probably clear of any actual mischief.
"Mysteries of Bee-keeping Explained" by M. Quinby
But be sure you make fast the door, lest I escape, and mischief happen, should I get abroad.
"Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2)" by John Roby
It is you that are pushing them on to do mischief.
"Four American Indians" by Edson L. Whitney
But as I did the mischief it is only just that I should suffer for it.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
Why should I work her a mischief in order to advance the King of Spain, whom we cannot but hate?
"Sea-Dogs All!" by Tom Bevan
She will take what steps she thinks right in bringing you to order, and in discovering the author of this mischief.
"A World of Girls" by L. T. Meade
Her arm hurt her terribly; she knew that Penelope was quite capable of making mischief, she was terrified about the thimble.
"Girls of the Forest" by L. T. Meade
As fu' o' mischief as an egg's fu' o' meat.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
A slight imprudence had renewed all the mischief, and his patient was lying speechless under a violent attack of inflammation.
"Hopes and Fears scenes from the life of a spinster" by Charlotte M. Yonge
He was unhappy at the absence of his companion in mischief, the redoubtable Plunger.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
The boy overflowed with mischief and good-humour.
"The Captain's Bunk" by M. B. Manwell
Do you know that you have done us much mischief?
"My Sword's My Fortune" by Herbert Hayens
It was impossible to discover them, even when their mischief was done.
"The Adventures of Daniel Boone: the Kentucky rifleman" by Uncle Philip
She knew there was mischief looming, and the woman in her was stirred to the depths.
"The Watchers of the Plains" by Ridgewell Cullum
If I were to tell in the campody whence my good fortune is, would not Padahoon do me some mischief for it?
"The Arrow-Maker" by Mary Austin
When she appeared at supper time Kate's dark eyes shone with admiration and a lurking mischief.
"The Law-Breakers" by Ridgwell Cullum
Whereat Judy tossed her head spitefully and meditated mischief.
"Trading" by Susan Warner

In poetry:

The boy that did the mischief,
But that boy was seldom found,
And so, he had to bear his grief
And nurse the unseen wound;
"Dear Friends And Neighbors" by David John Scott
"How could ye wi' my feelings sport,
Or doubt a heart sae warm and true?
I maist could wish ye mischief for 't,
But canna wish ought ill to you."
"The Lass O' Isla" by Alexander Boswell
What is her name? There's none that knows—
Mother-o'-mischief, or Mouth-o'-rose.
What is her pathway? None may tell,
But it climbs to heaven and it dips to hell.
"Beauty" by Nora Jane Hopper Chesson
Absent from flesh! O blissful thought!
What unknown joys this moment brings!
Freed from the mischiefs sin has brought,
From pains, and fears, and all their springs.
"Hymn 23 part 1" by Isaac Watts
Mischief indeed!--but ah! I would not change
Mischief so sweet for all the world could give;
So vile a slave I'm grown, I would not range
Beyond my chain, nor liberty receive.
"The Confession" by Charlotte Dacre
Sure you were not made at first
For such mischief to be cursed,
As to kill affection's care
That doth only truth declare.
Where worth's wonders never wither
Love and Beauty live together.
"Pretty Twinkling Starry Eyes" by Nicholas Breton

In news:

Stop the map mischief , create real competition in politics.
Miscreants make mischief with water, garbage.
Stop the map mischief .
Elections Canada email trail points to growing suspicions over voter suppression ' mischief ' during 2011 election.
27-year-old Ryan Thibodeau of Kenduskeag was supposed to be arraigned Wednesday for aggravated criminal mischief .
Arrests made in River Valley criminal mischief spree.
Officials hoping to see less mischief on Halloween.
For others, of course, Mischief Night carries a much darker message.
Tyler police are investigating multiple cases of criminal mischief after someone spray-painted vehicles, residences and businesses.
On Thursday, October 11, 2012 Tyler Police investigated numerous cases of Criminal Mischief in the area of WSW Loop 323 and the surrounding neighborhood.
Two different cases of criminal mischief were reported this week, to the Summit County Sheriff's office, and the Park City police.
Burglary, criminal mischief , trespassing.
Soldotna man charged for exposure, mischief .
Attalla man charged with criminal mischief .
'Merits of Mischief Book One': Review by Rachel Renee Russell.