Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: meschief 'something bad that happens', from mes- ( MIS-) + chief 'head, end'

mischief

noun
     
mis‧chief
1 [uncountable] bad behaviour, especially by children, that causes trouble or damage, but no serious harm:
Now run along, and don't get into mischief.
They've got enough toys to keep them out of mischief for a while.
If you can't see Nick, you can be sure he's up to some mischief (=behaving badly and causing trouble or damage).
2 [uncountable] the pleasure or enjoyment of playing tricks on people or embarrassing them:
Kiki's eyes were bright with mischief.
3

make mischief

informal to deliberately cause quarrels or unfriendly feelings between people
make mischief between
I didn't want to make mischief between them.
4

do yourself a mischief

British English informal to injure yourself slightly:
If you try to lift that box, you'll do yourself a mischief.
5 [uncountable] formal damage or harm that is done to someone or to their property:
The jury cleared him of the charge of criminal mischief.

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