A prank is defined as "acting like a clown or buffoon" or "dressing showily", or alternatively, "a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement" [ WordNet Search - 3.0 ] ] . Pranks can take the forms of practical jokes, hoaxes, or even petty criminal activity, such as the theft of traffic cones. [ [ Nightmare on student street ] ]

In recent years, the term "pranking" has also come to mean the ringing of a mobile telephone and hanging up before it is answered, to alert the mobile phone's user without having to pay a network connection charge.


The term "prank" is believed to derive from the Middle English "pranken", to make people run away, or perhaps from Middle Dutch "pronken" (from "pronk", show, display) and from Middle Low German "prunken" (from "prank", display). [ [] ]


ee also

*Media prank
*MIT hack
*Practical joke
*School prank
*Student prank
*Computer prank

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • prank — prank·er; prank·ful; prank·i·ness; prank·ing·ly; prank·ish; prank·some; prank·ster; prank; prank·ish·ly; prank·ish·ness; …   English syllables

  • Prank — Prank, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pranked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pranking}.] [Cf. E. prink, also G. prangen, prunken, to shine, to make a show, Dan. prange, prunke, Sw. prunka, D. pronken.] To adorn in a showy manner; to dress or equip ostentatiously;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prank — n Prank, caper, antic, monkeyshine, dido mean a playful, often a mischievous, act or trick. Prank carries the strongest implication of devilry of all these words, though there is little suggestion of malice and primary emphasis upon the practical …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Prank — Prank, v. i. To make ostentatious show. [1913 Webster] White houses prank where once were huts. M. Arnold. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prank — (n.) a trick, 1520s, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to obsolete prank decorate, dress up, from M.L.G. prank display (Cf. also Du. pronken, Ger. prunken to make a show, to strut ) …   Etymology dictionary

  • prank|y — «PRANG kee», adjective, prank|i|er, prank|i|est. fond of pranks; prankish …   Useful english dictionary

  • Prank — Prank, n. A gay or sportive action; a ludicrous, merry, or mischievous trick; a caper; a frolic. Spenser. [1913 Webster] The harpies . . . played their accustomed pranks. Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster] His pranks have been too broad to bear with …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Prank — Prank, a. Full of gambols or tricks. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prank — [præŋk] n a trick, especially one which is played on someone to make them look silly ▪ a childish prank …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • prank — [ præŋk ] noun count a silly trick that you play on someone to surprise them …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • prank — [n] practical joke; frivolity antic, caper, caprice, escapade, fancy, fooling, frolic, gag, gambol, high jinks*, horseplay*, hotfoot*, lark, levity, lightness, monkeyshines*, play, put on, rib*, rollick, roughhouse*, roughhousing*, rowdiness,… …   New thesaurus