Mis"chief (?), n. [OE. meschef bad result, OF. meschief; pref. mes- (L. minus less) + chief end, head, F. 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.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mis"chief, v. t.

To do harm to.

[Obs.]

Milton.

 

© Webster 1913.

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