Definition of baleful in US English:



  • 1Threatening harm; menacing.

    ‘Bill shot a baleful glance in her direction’
    ‘the baleful light cast trembling shadows’
    • ‘Flinging him a baleful glare, I muttered, ‘Your point being?’’
    • ‘It rose far above her, untouched by light and staring at her through baleful eyes.’
    • ‘She wiped at it furtively, casting a baleful glance around to see if anyone noticed.’
    • ‘I saw the baleful look she shot me in the dim light coming from the street.’
    • ‘Or it could be the empty eye-socket of a cyclopean presence that still manages to hold us in its baleful stare.’
    • ‘Casey casts a baleful eye on the author's camera, striking his most fearsome pose.’
    • ‘Green's presence is arresting, to be sure, although her chief contribution comes in the form of seductive, baleful, or haunted glaring, which makes her a perfect complement for Bloom's Balian.’
    • ‘In his last great battle there was only a baleful and ridiculous malignancy.’
    • ‘McGowan casts a baleful eye at how football is treated by government.’
    • ‘Finally, I disagree with his conception of human nature, inasmuch as I don't believe the baleful features of human life that he refers to are ‘inherent features’ of human nature.’
    • ‘With the big day looming, young gun Tommy clashes with a baleful old timer (convincing Frank Harper) and finds himself plagued by dreams that foretell a death by booting.’
    • ‘The gaze of pale blue eyes fell upon his face fully, a cold glare, baleful, bitter, rough, but at the same time - lonely and easy to hurt.’
    • ‘Whenever an election turns into a three-ring circus, I cast my baleful eye upon the proceedings and wonder what's really going on in the heart that beats beneath the fright wig.’
    • ‘Zack buried his head in her shoulder, pausing in the crying to give me a baleful glance or two, and to lob the occasional ‘I don't like you Daddy, you're a meanie.’’
    • ‘Tresco gave him a sideways glance of baleful intensity that was beautiful to see.’
    • ‘If it's possible to cast a baleful glance with one eye shut, then she did it.’
    • ‘Riffs should be big, brooding, baleful things.’
    • ‘The angel looked up again, casting a baleful scowl at the Academy, in all its splendour.’
    • ‘They're sitting on my ‘to read’ shelf next to my desk right now, staring up at me with baleful spines as if to warn me that if I don't read them soon, there'll be trouble.’
    • ‘In 1920, another baleful Armistice Day was looming.’
    menacing, threatening, unfriendly, hostile, antagonistic, evil, evil-intentioned, wicked, nasty, hate-filled, bitter, acrimonious, malevolent, malicious, malignant, malign, sinister, deadly, harmful, injurious, dangerous, noxious, virulent, pernicious, venomous, poisonous, vitriolic, vindictive
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    1. 1.1 Having a harmful or destructive effect.
      ‘drug money has had a baleful impact on the country’
      • ‘Derrida became a flashpoint for controversies over the allegedly baleful influence of postmodernism and post-structuralism on the Humanities.’
      • ‘And it may even be a small sign of the baleful effects of media industry conglomeration.’
      • ‘So state regulation of marriage, first applied in Hardwicke's Marriage Act, is still with us; and the moral code that flowed from it still casts a baleful shadow over modern society.’
      • ‘But when it stopped the environment made its baleful impact.’
      • ‘But by now, it should be clear that apart from the baleful influence of science, and to a degree because of it, modernism has been completely hamstrung by its realism.’
      • ‘The second is the baleful effect of regulation.’
      • ‘The baleful effect of overwhelming electoral landslides, usually worse than suggested by the cube rule, has also been underplayed.’
      • ‘Its stultifying and baleful influence is transmitted by the clammy grip of its three main tentacles: the universities; the ‘experts’, and, above all, the media.’
      • ‘The successful lobbying for deregulation of the electricity supply in California has had baleful consequences that hardly merit repeating.’
      • ‘These groups point to a number of situations in which the proposal could have baleful effects on the rights of other workers or on customers.’
      • ‘Just for a moment you are swept by a sense of doubt - perhaps The Economist, that most sober of journals, is referring to the baleful effects of global warming.’
      • ‘Alexandra blamed herself for her son's illness, and in seeking answers to alleviate her guilt, came under the baleful influence of Siberian monk and mystic Rasputin.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the case has had a baleful effect on this litigation.’
      • ‘But clearly they were seeking protection from something they perceived to be potentially baleful or harmful.’
      • ‘The war has had an ubiquitous and baleful effect on U.S. foreign policy.’
      harmful, damaging, injurious, hurtful, inimical, deleterious, dangerous, destructive, ruinous, calamitous, disastrous, pernicious, environmentally unfriendly, ill, bad, evil, malign, corrupting, malignant, adverse, undesirable, prejudicial, unfavourable, unfortunate, counterproductive
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