From Middle English mischevous, from Anglo-Norman meschevous, from Old French meschever, from mes- (“mis-”) + chever (“come to an end”) (from chef (“head”)). Synchronically analyzable as mischief + -ous.
- IPA(key): /ˈmɪs.t͡ʃɪ.vəs/, also nonstandard /mɪs.ˈt͡ʃiː.vi.əs/ (often along with the nonstandard spelling misch(i)evious)
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- 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; ...
- Troublesome, cheeky, badly behaved.
- Matthew had a twin brother called Edward, who was always mischievous and badly behaved.
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 viewed as incorrect.
- (causing mischief): harmful, hurtful, detrimental, noxious, pernicious, destructive; see also Thesaurus:harmful
- (badly-behaved): badly-behaved, naughty
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- mischievous in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- mischievous in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- mischievous at OneLook Dictionary Search