To play the mischief
Mischief Mis"chief (m[i^]s"ch[i^]f), n. [OE. meschef bad result, OF. meschief; pref. mes- (L. minus less) + chief end, head, F. chef chief. See {Minus}, and {Chief}.] [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs. --Ps. lii. 2. [1913 Webster]

The practice whereof shall, I hope, secure me from many mischiefs. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

2. Cause of trouble or vexation; trouble. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The mischief was, these allies would never allow that the common enemy was subdued. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

{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.] [1913 Webster]

Syn: Damage; harm; hurt; injury; detriment; evil; ill.

Usage: {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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To be in mischief — Mischief Mis chief (m[i^]s ch[i^]f), n. [OE. meschef bad result, OF. meschief; pref. mes (L. minus less) + chief end, head, F. chef chief. See {Minus}, and {Chief}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Harm; damage; esp., disarrangement of order; trouble or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To play hob — Play Play, v. t. 1. To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon upon a fortification; to play a trump. [1913 Webster] First Peace and Silence all disputes control, Then Order plays the soul. Herbert. [1913 Webster] 2. To perform music upon; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To play off — Play Play, v. t. 1. To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon upon a fortification; to play a trump. [1913 Webster] First Peace and Silence all disputes control, Then Order plays the soul. Herbert. [1913 Webster] 2. To perform music upon; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To play one's cards — Play Play, v. t. 1. To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon upon a fortification; to play a trump. [1913 Webster] First Peace and Silence all disputes control, Then Order plays the soul. Herbert. [1913 Webster] 2. To perform music upon; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To make mischief — Mischief Mis chief (m[i^]s ch[i^]f), n. [OE. meschef bad result, OF. meschief; pref. mes (L. minus less) + chief end, head, F. chef chief. See {Minus}, and {Chief}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Harm; damage; esp., disarrangement of order; trouble or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mischief — Mis chief (m[i^]s ch[i^]f), n. [OE. meschef bad result, OF. meschief; pref. mes (L. minus less) + chief end, head, F. chef chief. See {Minus}, and {Chief}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Harm; damage; esp., disarrangement of order; trouble or vexation caused …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Play — Play, v. t. 1. To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon upon a fortification; to play a trump. [1913 Webster] First Peace and Silence all disputes control, Then Order plays the soul. Herbert. [1913 Webster] 2. To perform music upon; as, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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