Pretending to be someone else on the phone or putting a whoopee cushion on someone's chair are two very old types of a prank, or practical joke, played at someone else's expense.

There are many kinds of pranks in the world. If you called a friend and said you were the police, that would be a prank phone call. Some pranks can be mean and even dangerous, while others are silly. Some people prank their friends, while others prank people they dislike. Some people never outgrow the need to pull a good prank. A less common meaning of prank is to dress up in a showy or silly way.

Primary Meanings of prank

a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement
dress or decorate showily or gaudily
acting like a clown or buffoon
Full Definitions of prank

n a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement

antic, caper, joke, put-on, trick
show 6 types...
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dirty trick
an unkind or aggressive trick
practical joke
a prank or trick played on a person (especially one intended to make the victim appear foolish)
April fool
a practical joke or trick played on the first day of April
a practical joke that involves inserting a match surreptitiously between the sole and upper of the victim's shoe and then lighting it
a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students)
snipe hunt
an elaborate practical joke in which the unsuspecting victim hunts a snipe and is typically left in the dark holding a bag and waiting for the snipe to run into it
Type of:
diversion, recreation
an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates

v dress or decorate showily or gaudily

“Roses were pranking the lawn”
Type of:
adorn, beautify, decorate, embellish, grace, ornament
make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.

v dress up showily

“He pranked himself out in his best clothes”
Type of:
attire, deck out, deck up, dress up, fancy up, fig out, fig up, get up, gussy up, overdress, prink, rig out, tog out, tog up, trick out, trick up
put on special clothes to appear particularly appealing and attractive

n acting like a clown or buffoon

buffoonery, clowning, frivolity, harlequinade, japery
schtick, schtik, shtick, shtik
(Yiddish) a prank or piece of clowning
Type of:
craziness, folly, foolery, indulgence, lunacy, tomfoolery
foolish or senseless behavior

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