Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Mischief (mĭs"chĭf) noun [ Middle English meschef bad result, Old French meschief ; prefix mes- (L. minus less) + chief end, head, French chef chief. See Minus , and Chief .]


1. 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. Chaucer.

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs .
Ps. lii. 2.

The practice whereof shall, I hope, secure me from many mischiefs .
Fuller.

2. Cause of trouble or vexation; trouble. Milton.

The mischief was, these allies would never allow that the common enemy was subdued.
Swift.

To be in mischief , to be doing harm or causing annoyance. -- To make mischief , to do mischief, especially by exciting quarrels. -- To play the mischief , to cause great harm; to throw into confusion. [ Colloq.]

Syn. -- Damage; harm; hurt; injury; detriment; evil; ill. -- Mischief , Damage , Harm . Damage is an injury which diminishes the value of a thing; harm is an injury which causes trouble or inconvenience; mischief is an injury which disturbs the order and consistency of things. We often suffer damage or harm from accident, but mischief always springs from perversity or folly.

Mischief transitive verb To do harm to. [ Obsolete] Milton.

Mischief-maker noun One who makes mischief; one who excites or instigates quarrels or enmity.

Mischief-making adjective Causing harm; exciting enmity or quarrels. Rowe. -- noun The act or practice of making mischief, inciting quarrels, etc.

Mischiefable adjective Mischievous. [ R.] Lydgate.

Mischiefful adjective Mischievous. [ Obsolete] Foote.

Mischievous (mĭs"che*vŭs) adjective 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 , adverb -- Mis"chie*vous*ness , noun

Mischna noun See Mishna .

Mischnic adjective See Mishnic .

Mischoose transitive verb [ imperfect Mischose ; past participle Mischosen ; present participle & verbal noun Mischoosing .] To choose wrongly. Milton.

Mischoose intransitive verb To make a wrong choice.

Mischristen transitive verb To christen wrongly.

Miscibility noun [ Confer French miscibilité .] Capability of being mixed.

Miscible adjective [ Confer French miscible , from Latin miscere to mix.] Capable of being mixed; mixable; as, water and alcohol are miscible in all proportions. Burke.

Miscitation noun Erroneous citation.

Miscite transitive verb To cite erroneously.

Misclaim noun A mistaken claim.

Miscognizant adjective (Law) Not cognizant; ignorant; not knowing.

Miscognize transitive verb To fail to apprehend; to misunderstand. [ Obsolete] Holland.

Miscollocation noun Wrong collocation. De Quincey.

Miscolor transitive verb To give a wrong color to; figuratively, to set forth erroneously or unfairly; as, to miscolor facts. C. Kingsley.

Miscomfort noun Discomfort. [ Obsolete]

Miscomprehend transitive verb To get a wrong idea of or about; to misunderstand.

Miscomputation noun Erroneous computation; false reckoning.

Miscompute transitive verb [ Confer Miscount .] To compute erroneously. Sir T. Browne.

Misconceit noun Misconception. [ Obsolete]

Misconceive transitive verb & i. [ imperfect & past participle Misconceived ; present participle & verbal noun Misconceiving .] To conceive wrongly; to interpret incorrectly; to receive a false notion of; to misjudge; to misapprehend.

Those things which, for want of due consideration heretofore, they have misconceived .
Hooker.

Syn. -- To misapprehend; misunderstand; mistake.

Misconceiver noun One who misconceives.

Misconception noun Erroneous conception; false opinion; wrong understanding. Harvey.

Misconclusion noun An erroneous inference or conclusion. Bp. Hall.

Misconduct noun Wrong conduct; bad behavior; mismanagement. Addison.

Syn. -- Misbehavior; misdemeanor; mismanagement; misdeed; delinquency; offense.

Misconduct transitive verb To conduct amiss; to mismanage. Johnson.

To misconduct one's self , to behave improperly.

Misconduct intransitive verb To behave amiss.

Misconfident adjective Having a mistaken confidence; wrongly trusting. [ R.] Bp. Hall.

Misconjecture noun A wrong conjecture or guess. Sir T. Browne.

Misconjecture transitive verb & i. To conjecture wrongly.

Misconsecrate transitive verb To consecrate amiss. " Misconsecrated flags." Bp. Hall.

Misconsecration noun Wrong consecration.

Misconsequence noun A wrong consequence; a false deduction.

Misconstruable adjective Such as can be misconstrued, as language or conduct. R. North.

Misconstruct transitive verb To construct wrongly; to construe or interpret erroneously.

Misconstruction noun Erroneous construction; wrong interpretation. Bp. Stillingfleet.

Misconstrue transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Misconstrued ; present participle & verbal noun Misconstruing .] To construe wrongly; to interpret erroneously.

Do not, great sir, misconstrue his intent.
Dryden.

Much afflicted to find his actions misconstrued .
Addison.

Misconstruer noun One who misconstrues.

Miscontent adjective Discontent. [ Obsolete]

Miscontinuance noun (Law) Discontinuance; also, continuance by undue process.

Miscopy transitive verb To copy amiss.

Miscopy noun A mistake in copying. North Am. Rev.

Miscorrect transitive verb To fail or err in attempting to correct. "Scaliger miscorrects his author." Dryden.

Miscounsel transitive verb To counsel or advise wrongly.