Synonyms & Antonyms of sinister

being or showing a sign of evil or calamity to come
  • the movie relies too much on sinister background music to create the suspense that the plot sorely lacks

Synonyms for sinister

Words Related to sinister

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Antonyms for sinister

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Frequently Asked Questions About sinister

How is the word sinister different from other adjectives like it?

The words baleful and malign are common synonyms of sinister. While all three words 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

When is it sensible to use baleful instead of sinister?

The synonyms baleful and sinister are sometimes interchangeable, but baleful imputes perniciousness or destructiveness to something whether working openly or covertly.

exerting a corrupt and baleful influence

When would malign be a good substitute for sinister?

The words malign and sinister are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, malign applies to what is inherently evil or harmful.

the malign effects of racism

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Time Traveler for sinister

Time Traveler

The first known use of sinister was in the 15th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near sinister




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Cite this Entry

“Sinister.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on sinister

Nglish: Translation of sinister for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sinister for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sinister


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