- The definition of bane means something that will kill, destroy or distress someone.
An example of bane is what kryptonite is to Superman.
- Old Poet. deadly harm; ruin; death
- the cause of distress, death, or ruin
- deadly poison: now obsolete except in ratsbane, etc.
Origin of baneMiddle English ; from Old English bana ; from Indo-European base an unverified form bhen-, to strike, wound from source Avestan banta-, sick, weak, Gothic banja, wound, blow
- a. A cause of harm, ruin, or death: “Obedience, / Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, / Makes slaves of men” (Percy Bysshe Shelley).b. A source of persistent annoyance or exasperation: “The spellings of foreign names are often the bane of busy copy editors” (Norm Goldstein).
- Archaic a. Fatal injury or ruin: “Hath some fond lover tic'd thee to thy bane?” (George Herbert).b. A deadly poison.
Origin of baneMiddle English, destroyer, from Old English bana; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present banes, present participle baning, simple past and past participle baned)
- (chiefly Scotland) A bone
From Middle English northern dialect ban, from Old English bān