AskDefine | Define sinister

Dictionary Definition

sinister adj
1 threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments; "a baleful look"; "forbidding thunderclouds"; "his tone became menacing"; "ominous rumblings of discontent"; "sinister storm clouds"; "a sinister smile"; "his threatening behavior"; "ugly black clouds"; "the situation became ugly" [syn: baleful, forbidding, menacing, minacious, minatory, ominous, threatening, ugly]
2 stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable; "black deeds"; "a black lie"; "his black heart has concocted yet another black deed"; "Darth Vader of the dark side"; "a dark purpose"; "dark undercurrents of ethnic hostility"; "the scheme of some sinister intelligence bent on punishing him"-Thomas Hardy [syn: black, dark]
3 on or starting from the wearer's left; "bar sinister"

User Contributed Dictionary



From sinister via Sinistra, Sinistre


  • /ˈsɪnɪstə/ italbrac RP
  • /ˈsɪnɪstər/ italbrac US


  1. Inauspicious, ominous, unlucky.
  2. Evil, seeming to be evil.
  3. Of the left side.
  4. The left side of a shield from the wearer's standpoint, and the right side to the viewer.



of the left
heraldic "left"

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Sinister is originally a Latin term for left or to the left (and by extension, left-handedness), and is used in heraldry to refer to the left of the bearer of the arms, and to the right by the viewer's eyes. It is often used to mean evil.
Sinister may also refer to:
Sinister in comic books and literature:
Sinister in music:

See also

sinister in Italian: Sinister
sinister in Norwegian Nynorsk: Sinister

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adverse, amoral, antagonistic, apocalyptic, backhand, backhanded, bad, baleful, baneful, base, black, bodeful, boding, circuitous, conflicting, conscienceless, contrary, corrupt, corrupted, counter, counteractive, counterclockwise, criminal, crooked, dark, deflectional, detrimental, deviant, deviative, devious, diabolical, difficult, digressive, dire, disastrous, dishonest, dishonorable, divagational, divergent, doomful, doubtful, dreary, dubious, evasive, evil, evil-starred, excursive, fateful, felonious, fishy, foreboding, fraudulent, furtive, gloomy, hard, harmful, hostile, ill, ill-boding, ill-fated, ill-got, ill-gotten, ill-omened, ill-starred, immoral, improper, in opposition, inaccurate, inauspicious, indirect, inexpedient, inferior, inimical, insidious, invalid, larboard, left, left-hand, left-handed, left-wing, left-wingish, levorotatory, liberal, lowering, malefic, maleficent, malevolent, malicious, malign, malignant, menacing, minacious, minatory, miserable, near, nefarious, nigh, not easy, not kosher, oblique, of evil portent, ominous, opposed, opposing, opposite, peccant, pernicious, port, portending, portentous, questionable, radical, rigorous, rotten, shady, shameless, shifty, side, sidelong, sinful, sinistral, sinistrocerebral, sinistrocular, sinistrogyrate, sinistrorse, slippery, sneaky, somber, stressful, suspicious, threatening, treacherous, tricky, troublesome, troublous, trying, unconscienced, unconscientious, unconscionable, underhand, underhanded, unethical, unfavorable, unfortunate, unhealthy, unkind, unlucky, unpleasant, unprincipled, unpromising, unpropitious, unsavory, unscrupulous, unskillful, unstraightforward, untoward, vicious, villainous, wicked, without remorse, without shame, wretched, wrong
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