Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[beyn] /beɪn/
a person or thing that ruins or spoils:
Gambling was the bane of his existence.
a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants):
wolfsbane; henbane.
death; destruction; ruin.
Obsolete. that which causes death or destroys life:
entrapped and drowned beneath the watery bane.
Origin of bane
before 1000; Middle English; Old English bana slayer; cognate with Old Norse bani death, murderer, Old Frisian bona murder, Old Saxon bano murderer, Old High German bano slayer, bana death; akin to Old English benn, Gothic banja wound Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for banes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • O'Rourke snorted disgustedly: "Lave it to Bhoynton to shpill the banes!"

    Terry Charles Goff Thomson
  • Leucorrhea is one of the banes of the modern girl and woman.


    William J. Robinson
  • The next minute the mate was face to face with Captain banes.

    Old Gold George Manville Fenn
  • The mate did not stir till he had seen Captain banes on board.

    Old Gold George Manville Fenn
  • I shall give way to the extent of asking Captain banes to let him go with us.

    Old Gold George Manville Fenn
  • He is one of the banes of my life—he, NapoleonI., and Wagner.

    Wanderings through unknown Austria Randolph Ll. Hodgson
  • I thought you were drowned in the water, or a' your banes broken.

  • Thirty-two thousand pineapples were shipped from banes in 1894.

    Industrial Cuba Robert P. Porter
British Dictionary definitions for banes


a person or thing that causes misery or distress (esp in the phrase bane of one's life)
something that causes death or destruction
  1. a fatal poison
  2. (in combination): ratsbane
(archaic) ruin or distress
Word Origin
Old English bana; related to Old Norse bani death, Old High German bano destruction, death


/ben; beɪn/
a Scot word for bone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for banes



Old English bana "killer, slayer, murderer; the devil," from Proto-Germanic *banon, cognate with *banja- "wound" (cf. Old Frisian bona "murderer," Old Norse bani, Old High German bana "murder," Old English benn "wound," Gothic banja "stroke, wound"), from PIE root *gwhen- "to strike, kill, wound" (cf. Avestan banta "ill"). Modern sense of "that which causes ruin or woe" is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bane

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for banes

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for banes