Baleful
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Baleful

English

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Middle English baleful, balful, baluful, from Old English bealuful, which being equivalent to bealu +‎ -ful. Surface analysis as bale ("evil, woe") +‎ -ful. See bale for further etymology.

Pronunciation

Adjective

baleful (comparative more baleful, superlative most baleful)

  1. Portending evil; ominous.
    • 1873, James Thomson (B.V.), The City of Dreadful Night
      The street-lamps burn amid the baleful glooms,
      Amidst the soundless solitudes immense
      Of ranged mansions dark and still as tombs.
    • 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 186:
      According to them all sorcerers, necromancers and evil-doers were born under the baleful influence of the seventh calendic sign[.]
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1943, Chapter XII, p. 194, [1]
      [...] he went off alone with his family, and, watched by the day's red baleful eye, pumped the pump-car homeward, [...]
    • 1949, Naomi Replansky, "Complaint of the Ignorant Wizard" in Ring Song (published 1952):
      I learned the speech of birds; now every tree
      Screams out to me a baleful prophecy.
    • 2020 November 13, Duncan Campbell, "Peter Sutcliffe obituary", in The Guardian[2]:
      Few people cast a more baleful shadow over postwar Britain than Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper", who has died aged 74
  2. Miserable, wretched, distressed, suffering.

Derived terms

Translations


Middle English

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Old English bealuful; equivalent to bale +‎ -ful.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /'ba:lful/, /'balful/

Adjective

baleful

  1. evil, horrible, malicious
  2. (rare) dangerous, harmful, injurious
  3. (rare) worthless, petty, lowly

Derived terms

Descendants

  • English: baleful

References


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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