Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR MISCHIEF

She was smiling now, and he caught a gleam of mischief in her eyes.

You are like two kittens, and might be in mischief or danger before you knew.

And yet is talk a less evil than the mischief of mere experimenters.

She had thought of sending a telegram, but saw that that might do mischief.

That scoundrel Corney has been about some mischief—damn him!

That is romantic imagination; and the mischief it does is incalculable.

It looks as if the Prince were ripe for worse than mischief.

"I'll have to think that over," she said, with a glint of mischief in her eyes.

Something in her eyes roused the devil of mischief that always slumbered in him.

Then I knew why Opata smelled of mischief when he had caught snakes in the lagoon.

WORD ORIGIN

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.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR MISCHIEF

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.