Examples of sinister in a Sentence
There was something sinister about him.
the movie relies too much on sinister background music to create the suspense that the plot sorely lacks
Recent Examples of sinister from the Web
That’s why mass surveillance is a sinister form of censorship.
Once there, Evangeline must put her nascent training into play to fight some truly sinister characters and a huge hulking beast.
Last Friday, Pusha T dropped Daytona, a sharp, sinister 21-minute missive largely finding the rapper in familiar territory: boasting, most often about his cocaine-dealing exploits.
And although that sounds protective for the players, the net effect may be much more sinister.
But domestic politics in Iran took a sinister turn this past January.
The song was murky and strange, like a spiky funk jam slowed to a sinister crawl.
The solution, Dennis believes, is less sinister than the bizarre theories, including that Randy was murdered by a satanic cult, or dismembered after an overdose, or hung inside a cave.
But his family always believed something sinister had happened.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sinister.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
insidious, sinister, or pernicious?
Few would choose to be associated with people or things that are insidious, sinister, or pernicious; all three of these words have decidedly unpleasant meanings, each with its own particular shade of nastiness.
Insidious comes from a Latin word for “ambush” (insidiae), which is fitting, as this word often carries the meanings “deceitful,” “stealthy,” or “harmful in an imperceptible fashion.” The first two meanings may be applied to people or things (“an insidious enemy,” “an insidious plot”), while the last is usually applied to things (“insidious problems,” “insidious sexism”), in particular to the gradual progress of a disease (“an insidious malignancy”).
Sinister comes from a Latin word meaning “on the left side, unlucky, inauspicious.” Although it is commonly used today in the sense “evil” (“a sinister cult leader”; “a sinister plot”), it may also suggest an ominous foreshadowing of some unfavorable turn of events (“a sinister omen”).
Pernicious has largely stayed true to its etymological root, the Latin noun pernicies “ruin, destruction.” Its original meaning in English, “highly injurious or destructive,” usually applies to things (“pernicious apathy,” “pernicious effects”) and medical conditions (“pernicious fever,” pernicious anemia). When applied to people, pernicious means “wicked.”
Is sinister unfair to the left-handed?
Sinister has an etymology that might seem a bit biased against the left-handed portion of the population, as this word, which has had naught but disagreeable meanings for over five hundred years now, comes from a Latin word of the same spelling that means “on the left side.” We find this root in other English words, such as the adjective sinistral (“left-handed”) and the adverb sinistrad (“toward the left side”). To make things even more unfair, the Latin word dexter (“on the right side”) has given rise to English words with largely positive meanings, such as dexterity and ambidextrous.
black, bleak, cheerless, chill, cold, comfortless, dark, darkening, depressing, depressive, desolate, dim, disconsolate, dismal, drear, dreary, forlorn, funereal, gloomy, glum, godforsaken, gray (also grey), lonely, lonesome, lugubrious, miserable, morbid, morose, murky, saturnine, sepulchral, somber (or sombre), sullen, wretched;
Synonym Discussion of sinister
- a sinister aura haunts the place
- exerting a corrupt and baleful influence
- the malign effects of racism
SINISTER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sinister for English Language Learners
: having an evil appearance : looking likely to cause something bad, harmful, or dangerous to happen
SINISTER Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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