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evil eye

a look thought capable of inflicting injury or bad luck on the person at whom it is directed.
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 forms
evil-eyed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for evil eye
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Even good Bishop Jewel did not disbelieve in the power of the evil eye.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Giulia said to me this evening that she was sure the new servant had the evil eye.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • "It is Peppina who has looked on the house with the evil eye," said Ruffo.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • She thought of Giulia's assertion that the disfigured girl had the evil eye.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Are you thinking of Giulia's foolish words about the evil eye?

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Signore, the Signora's face was like the face of one who has been looked on by the evil eye.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • That lame doctor with the evil eye had got there pretty fast.

  • The glance of a witch's 'evil eye' was supposed to have great power.

British Dictionary definitions for evil eye

evil eye

noun the evil eye
a look or glance superstitiously supposed to have the power of inflicting harm or injury
the power to inflict harm, etc, by such a look
Derived Forms
evil-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
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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 formgive 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 Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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