V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. harmful, dangerous, and/or detrimental; 2. posing a threat or appearing ominous

Synonyms: sinister, malign, malicious, foreboding, threatening, ominous, menacing, harmful, deadly, evil, dangerous

Antonyms: harmless, favorable

Tips: Baleful is used more commonly than baneful. The latter implies destruction, which is often already occurring or has already occurred. Baleful is more likely to carry the connotation of impending danger or of a threat of harm. If you see something or someone baleful, it is usually an ominous sign that something baneful (bad) is going to happen.

Usage Examples:

His baleful stare made me squirm with dread and apprehension. (menacing, threatening, malicious)

Lost and alone, the girls seemed to see danger everywhere, so that even the stray dog that meandered by appeared baleful. (threatening, harmful)

The baleful clouds and cautionary forecasts indicated an approaching hurricane. (threatening, ominous)

The witch's baleful laughter was just an act meant to scare the children on Halloween. (sinister, evil)

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