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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for evil-eyed
Historical Examples
  • It was the evil-eyed man who had spied upon Queen Zelaya, as she had worshipped the pearl necklace in the van the evening before.

  • The mother was old and small and withered, and they said evil-eyed.

    That Fortune Charles Dudley Warner
  • The world pitied him sincerely, and hated Laura Arden for being the evil-eyed cause of all his misfortunes.

    Pietro Ghisleri F. (Francis) Marion Crawford
  • But to be evil-eyed, is not that worse than to have no eyes?

    The Eagle's Nest John Ruskin
  • For reply, the evil-eyed steersman spat at him the vilest name known to man.

    The Pathless Trail Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel
  • In western India all witches and wizards are said to be evil-eyed.

  • Then he smeared his mouth with the back of his hand and stood there evil-eyed and growling.

    Cursed George Allan England
  • Balor, the evil-eyed, he slays with a sling-stone, and his death decided the day against the Fomorians.

  • The Ruby King had a huge, gross face, thick-lipped and evil-eyed.

    Jack Haydon's Quest John Finnemore
  • But the next morning an evil-eyed black cat sat on our steps and, hour after hour, no Robin Hood appeared.

British Dictionary definitions for evil-eyed

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-eyed

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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