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evil eye

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noun
  1. a look thought capable of inflicting injury or bad luck on the person at whom it is directed.
  2. the power, superstitiously attributed to certain persons, of inflicting injury or bad luck by such a look.

Origin of evil eye

before 1000; Middle English, Old English
Related formse·vil-eyed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for evil eye

Historical Examples

  • Or if you didn't kill him, you'd cast the evil-eye on him, for you are well known to have the evil-eye.

    A Terrible Temptation

    Charles Reade

  • Dread of the evil-eye is as prevalent with the Jews as with the other races in Turkey.

    Turkey

    Julius R. Van Millingen

  • These flints were often sewed into the dresses of children to protect them from the Evil-eye.

    Folk Lore</p>

    James Napier

  • At present, the Bisara is safe on an ekka-pony's neck, inside the blue bead-necklace that keeps off the Evil-eye.

  • I reined in sharply, when I saw this person, and he looked at me like the evil-eye, through his great owlish orbs.

    Campaigns of a Non-Combatant,

    George Alfred Townsend


British Dictionary definitions for evil eye

evil eye

noun the evil eye
  1. a look or glance superstitiously supposed to have the power of inflicting harm or injury
  2. the power to inflict harm, etc, by such a look
Derived Formsevil-eyed, adjective
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

Idioms and Phrases with evil eye

evil eye

The power to cause injury or misfortune, as in The tomatoes died shortly after planting—I must have an evil eye. The source of this expression is the ancient superstitious belief that some individuals could inflict harm on others simply by looking at them. Today the term is generally used figuratively or ironically, as above, and also in the form give someone the evil eye, which means “glare malevolently at someone.” For example, Helen gave his cat the evil eye, hoping it would stay out of her garden. [Late 1300s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.