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Mischief vs. Naughty: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 2, 2023
"Mischief" refers to behavior causing annoyance or minor harm, often playfully, while "Naughty" is an adjective describing someone who engages in such behavior. Mischief is the act; naughty is the characteristic.

Key Differences

"Mischief" is a noun that refers to actions or behavior that cause annoyance, inconvenience, or minor damage. "Naughty," on the other hand, is an adjective used to describe someone or something exhibiting such behavior. While mischief points to the actual conduct, naughty refers to the quality or attribute of being mischievous.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023
In the context of children, "mischief" might involve actions like drawing on the walls or making a mess deliberately. A "naughty" child is one who engages in such mischief. It's important to note that the term "mischief" describes the act itself, not the person, whereas "naughty" directly describes the individual involved in the act.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023
"Mischief" can also be used in a broader, sometimes more serious context to indicate harm or trouble, like corporate mischief. "Naughty," however, is seldom used in such serious contexts and generally implies a less severe level of wrongdoing. Essentially, mischief can scale in gravity, but naughty usually remains in the realm of minor misbehaviors.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023
From a grammatical standpoint, "mischief" is solely a noun, while "naughty" functions as an adjective. "Mischief" is used to describe actions or situations, and "naughty" modifies nouns, typically persons, to indicate their inclination towards mischievous behavior.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 20, 2023

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Noun
Adjective
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023
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Meaning

Behavior causing annoyance or minor harm
Describes someone who engages in such behavior
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Context

Can be used in a broad context
Usually implies a less severe level of wrongdoing
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Usage in a Sentence

"The kids were up to mischief."
"The kids were naughty today."
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Severity

Can imply a range of severities
Usually associated with minor misbehavior
Harlon Moss
Sep 20, 2023

Mischief and Naughty Definitions

Mischief

The inclination to play pranks or tricks.
Her sense of mischief is endless.
Harlon Moss
Sep 20, 2023
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Naughty

Playfully mischievous.
He had a naughty grin on his face.
Sara Rehman
Sep 20, 2023

Mischief

Deliberate disobedience or troublemaking.
The mischief of the students disrupted the class.
Sara Rehman
Sep 20, 2023

Naughty

Inclined to cause minor trouble.
The naughty child hid his brother's toy.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 20, 2023

Mischief

Behavior causing minor harm or annoyance.
His mischief got him in trouble at school.
Sara Rehman
Sep 20, 2023

Naughty

Violating social or moral norms.
That was a naughty word to use.
Janet White
Sep 20, 2023

Mischief

Actions leading to petty annoyances.
He caused some mischief by hiding the remote.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Naughty

Exhibiting mischievous behavior.
She was naughty for drawing on the walls.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Mischief

Willful violation of rules.
Their mischief led to a new school policy.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Naughty

Disobedient or unruly.
The naughty dog wouldn't listen to commands.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 20, 2023

Mischief

Behavior that causes annoyance or difficulty
Tried to keep the kids from engaging in any mischief.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Behaving disobediently or mischievously
A naughty child.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

Damage, destruction, or injury caused by a specific person or thing
The mischief done by a faulty gene.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Indecent; improper
A naughty wink.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(Archaic) A specific injury or harm done
"Instead of doing them a service, you meant to do them a mischief?" (Charles Dickens).
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

One that is naughty.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

The inclination or tendency to play pranks or get into trouble
Eyes that gleamed with mischief.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Mischievous; tending to misbehave or act badly (especially of a child).
Some naughty boys at school hid the teacher's lesson notes.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(uncountable) Conduct that playfully causes petty annoyance.
Drink led to mischief.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Sexually provocative; now in weakened sense, risqué, cheeky.
I bought some naughty lingerie for my honeymoon.
If I see you send another naughty email to your friends, you will be forbidden from using the computer!
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(countable) A playfully annoying action.
John's mischief, tying his shoelaces together, irked George at first.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Evil, wicked, morally reprehensible.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(collective) A group or a pack of rats.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

(obsolete) Bad, worthless, substandard.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(archaic) Harm or injury:
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

To perform sexual acts upon.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(uncountable) Harm or trouble caused by an agent or brought about by a particular cause.
She had mischief in her heart.
Sooner or later he'll succeed in doing some serious mischief.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Having little or nothing.
[Men] that needy be and naughty, help them with thy goods.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(countable) An injury or an instance of harm or trouble caused by a person or other agent or cause.
It may end in her doing a great mischief to herself—and perhaps to others too.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Worthless; bad; good for nothing.
The other basket had very naughty figs.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(legal) A criminal offence defined in various ways in various jurisdictions, sometimes including causing damage to another's property.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Hence, corrupt; wicked.
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

A cause or agent of annoyance, harm or injury, especially a person who causes mischief.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Mischievous; perverse; froward; guilty of disobedient or improper conduct; as, a naughty child.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

(euphemism) The Devil; used as an expletive.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Suggestive of sexual impropriety;
A blue movie
Blue jokes
He skips asterisks and gives you the gamy details
A juicy scandal
A naughty wink
Naughty words
Racy anecdotes
A risque story
Spicy gossip
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

To do a mischief to; to harm.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Naughty

Badly behaved;
He was saucy and mischievous in school
A naughty boy
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

To slander.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

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.
Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs.
The practice whereof shall, I hope, secure me from many mischiefs.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

Cause of trouble or vexation; trouble.
The mischief was, these allies would never allow that the common enemy was subdued.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

To do harm to.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

Reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

Mischief

The quality or nature of being harmful or evil
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 25, 2023

FAQs

What does Naughty mean?

Naughty is an adjective describing someone who engages in mischievous behavior.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Can Mischief be used in a serious context?

Yes, mischief can imply a range of severities.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Is Naughty a noun or an adjective?

Naughty is an adjective.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

What does Mischief mean?

Mischief refers to behavior causing minor harm or annoyance.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Is being Naughty always bad?

Context matters, but generally, it implies negative behavior.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 20, 2023

What are examples of Mischief?

Drawing on walls, hiding things, playing pranks.
Janet White
Sep 20, 2023

Can you be Naughty without causing Mischief?

Generally, being naughty implies some form of mischief.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 20, 2023

Can adults be described as Naughty?

Yes, but it's less common and often in a playful or ironic sense.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Is Mischief a noun or an adjective?

Mischief is a noun.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Who is usually described as Naughty?

Children, pets, or anyone who is playfully disobedient.
Sara Rehman
Sep 20, 2023

Is Mischief always intentional?

Generally, it implies willful action but context matters.
Harlon Moss
Sep 20, 2023

How is Mischief different from Naughty in sentence structure?

Mischief is a noun describing actions, while naughty is an adjective that modifies nouns.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Can animals be Naughty or engage in Mischief?

Yes, pets like dogs and cats are often described as naughty when they misbehave.
Sara Rehman
Sep 20, 2023

Is Naughty used in serious contexts?

Rarely, it's generally used for minor misbehavior.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 20, 2023

Is all Mischief negative?

Not necessarily; some may consider mischief playful rather than harmful.
Sara Rehman
Sep 20, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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