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

  • adj. Causing harm, ruin, or death; harmful. See Usage Note at baleful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Exceedingly harmful; causing harm, death, ruin.
  • adj. Deadly or sinister.
  • adj. Portending disaster.
  • adj. Poisonous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having poisonous qualities; deadly; destructive; injurious; noxious; pernicious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Destructive; pernicious; poisonous: as, “baneful wrath,”
  • “baneful hemlock,”
  • Synonyms Hurtful, harmful, mischievous, deadly.

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

  • adj. deadly or sinister
  • adj. exceedingly harmful


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Yesterday, Agricola made me read an article in a newspaper, in which violent blame and bitter irony are by turns employed, to attack what they call the baneful tendencies of some of the lower orders, to improve themselves, to write, to read the poets, and sometimes to make verses.

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  • That man Clarke has some kind of baneful influence over her.

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  • Of all the cankers of human happiness, none corrodes it with so silent, yet so baneful a tooth, as indolence.

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  • Many of the founders welcomed the economic crisis because it would force Americans to abandon the luxuries that Thomas Jefferson called a “more baneful evil than toryism was during the war.”

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  • When looking at the nation's debt, the situation is even more baneful.

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  • While there are some things about the "postmodern" critique of culture with which I agree, one of its most baneful conseqeunces is the way in which it has swept up what was postmodern fiction into its smothering arms and blocked our view of what this fiction is really like.


  • Yes it would be a baneful herald of the apocalypse for children to read the dictionary of all things.

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  • Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.

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  • My upbringing instilled in me all-pervasive fear — the sense that most everything in life (especially pleasure and taking chances) was baneful; that good existed only in the afterlife; that people, places, and things were never to be trusted.

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  • Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

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