Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English baleful, balful, baluful, from Old English bealofull, equivalent to bale +‎ -ful.



baleful (comparative more baleful, superlative most baleful)

  1. Portending evil; ominous.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book I), line 56
      round he throws his baleful eyes, that witnessed huge affliction and dismay.
    • 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.
    • 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, []
  2. Miserable, wretched, distressed, suffering.

Derived terms[edit]