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Mischievious vs. Mischievous

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Some people are always causing trouble. Sometimes, the person might just be accident-prone. We might call such a person clumsy or hapless. Other people, though, seem to relish trouble, and seek it out at every turn. Rather than hapless and clumsy, we might call these people devious or mischievous. Should mischievous and devious rhyme? The way some people pronounce mischievous, it would appear so. Even some writers alter the spelling of the word, writing mischievious instead. Many English words have more than one accepted spelling, but is mischievous one of them? Continue reading to find out.

In this post, I will compare mischievous vs mischievious. I will use each of these words in at least one example sentence, so you can see them in context. Plus, I will show you a helpful memory tool that will make choosing mischievious or mischievous a little easier.

Origin:

The word mischievious originated from Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French meschevous, from Old French meschever ‘come to an unfortunate end’ (see mischief). The early sense was ‘unfortunate or calamitous’, later ‘having harmful effects’; the sense ‘playfully troublesome’ dates from the late 17th century.

Mischievious as adjective:

The word mischievious is used as an adjective in English language where it refers to someone or something that is causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way.

I can’t handle these mischievous children.

Mischievious also means (of an action or statement) causing or intended to cause harm or trouble.

A mischievous allegation for which there is not a shred of evidence.

Use of mischievous:

Mischievous are the correct spellings of the word and it is pronounced as mis-chuh-ves.

Use of mischievious:

Mischievious vs. Mischievous

Mischievious is a misspelling of mischievous. Many speakers also pronounce the word with four syllables, like mis-CHEE-vi-ous (so that it rhymes with previous). It’s unclear whether the misspelling or the mispronunciation came first, or if they developed together. Mischievious rarely appears in edited prose.

Examples:

We were good friends, and I will always remember him for the warm, sincere and yet mischievious grin. [Morning Sentinel]

She remembered his mischievious side. [The Star Ledger]

But mischievous is far more common in editorially scrupulous publications—for example:

It is Dionysus, the mischievous god of revelry. [Financial Times]

My guess is Ms. Shemy will find some mischievous ways to make it work. [New York Times]

Tongue-in-bearded-cheek, Ben Hudson has a typically mischievous take on where his retirement will leave the Western Bulldogs. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Mischievous or mischievious:

Mischievous, an adjective, means having an affinity for causing trouble. Some writers are prone to spelling the word mischevious, which is how some speakers mistakenly pronounce the word aloud. As a skillful writer, you should only use mischievous, especially in formal writing. Mischievious is widely rejected in writing, though common in spoken English. Mischievious has an extra I, like incorrect, so you should find it easy to remember that mischievious is incorrect.

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