Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Portending evil; ominous. See Synonyms at sinister.
  • adj. Harmful or malignant in intent or effect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Portending evil; ominous.
  • adj. Miserable, wretched, distressed, suffering.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of deadly or pernicious influence; destructive.
  • adj. Full of grief or sorrow; woeful; sad.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Full of hurtful or malign influence; destructive; pernicious; noxious; direful; deadly: as, “baleful breath,”
  • “baleful drugs,”
  • Fraught with bale; full of calamity or misfortune; disastrous; wretched; miserable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
  • adj. deadly or sinister

Etymologies

From Old English bealofull. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If I do not succeed in getting Dionea this place (and all your Excellency's illustriousness and all my poor eloquence will be needed to counteract the sinister reports attaching to our poor little waif), it will be best to accept your suggestion of taking the girl into your household at Rome, since you are curious to see what you call our baleful beauty.

    Hauntings

  • WW was a room full of big women and a few big men on rickety folding chairs bathed in baleful hospital light.

    The Goal by Matthew Licht

  • WBYL = 'baleful' it's not true that 'the baleful Jewish (thing)' has no meaning in Arabic.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • And when Satan's eyes are called "baleful," the word, besides indicating the "huge affliction and dismay" that he feels, gives a hint of the woes that are in store for the victims on whom those eyes have not yet lit.

    Milton

  • The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard; despite his having authored five books of non-fiction; and despite the word "baleful" having appeared in print

    Acephalous

  • And, not incidentally, one of the many reasons I feel no hesitation in calling Cashhill an idiot is that he had to look up what "baleful" means; it's not exactly a high-falutin ', obscure, word.

    Acephalous

  • When you were doing searches, did you look for instances where Cashill had used 'baleful'? because I find it hard to believe he really didn't know that word until Obama taught it to him.

    Acephalous

  • No dice ... meaning he did not, in fact, know from "baleful" despite being all this:

    Acephalous

  • It's a one-book explanation for the current move to the left in a growing number of Latin American countries, tracing a centuries-long history of rapine and plunder, of genocide and dictatorship, first at the hands of Spain, and more recently under the baleful influence of the US, which operated directly or by proxy to ensure that nothing would ever change.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Now, as that government turns its baleful attention to the ethnic Tamils it is holding behind razor wire, will we turn a blind eye?

    Archive 2009-05-01

Comments

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  • 1. hurtful; malignant. 2. Archaic: sorrowful, miserable (see malefic)

    October 31, 2007