Dictionary

baleful

adjective bale·ful \-fəl\

: threatening harm or evil

: harmful or deadly

Full Definition of BALEFUL

1
:  deadly or pernicious in influence <baleful effects>
2
:  foreboding or threatening evil <a baleful look>
bale·ful·ly \-fə-lē\ adverb
bale·ful·ness \-fəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of BALEFUL

  1. the baleful effects of water pollution
  2. <a dark, baleful sky portending a tornado>

First Known Use of BALEFUL

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of BALEFUL

sinister, baleful, malign mean seriously threatening evil or disaster. sinister suggests a general or vague feeling of fear or apprehension on the part of the observer <a sinister aura haunts the place>. baleful imputes perniciousness or destructiveness to something whether working openly or covertly <exerting a corrupt and baleful influence>. malign applies to what is inherently evil or harmful <the malign effects of racism>.

Rhymes with BALEFUL

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