Sinister meaning

sĭnĭ-stər
The definition of sinister is a person or thing that threatens harm or misfortune.

An example of sinister is behavior like that of Hitler.

An example of sinister is weather such as a tornado.

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1
Wicked, evil, or dishonest, esp. in some dark, mysterious way.

A sinister plot.

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Threatening harm, evil, or misfortune; ominous; portentous.

Sinister storm clouds.

adjective
6
1
Of the left side.
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Inauspicious, ominous, unlucky, illegitimate (as in bar sinister).
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Evil or seemingly evil; indicating lurking danger or harm.

Sinister influences.

The sinister atmosphere of the crypt.

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Most unfavorable or unfortunate; disastrous.

Met a sinister fate.

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1
(heraldry) On the left side of a shield from the wearer's standpoint, and the right side to the viewer.
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South.

He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts.

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Sir Walter Scott.

He read in their looks [...] sinister intentions directed particularly toward himself.

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Origin of sinister

  • Middle English sinistre unfavorable from Old French from Latin sinister on the left, unlucky

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English sinistre (“unlucky"), from Old French sinistra (“left"), from Latin sinestra (“left hand").

    From Wiktionary