[ beyn ]
See synonyms for bane on
  1. a person or thing that ruins or spoils: Gambling was the bane of his existence.

  2. a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants): wolfsbane; henbane.

  1. death; destruction; ruin.

  2. 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

Words Nearby bane Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bane in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bane (1 of 2)


/ (beɪn) /

  1. a person or thing that causes misery or distress (esp in the phrase bane of one's life)

  2. something that causes death or destruction

    • a fatal poison

    • (in combination): ratsbane

  1. archaic ruin or distress

Origin of bane

Old English bana; related to Old Norse bani death, Old High German bano destruction, death

British Dictionary definitions for bane (2 of 2)


/ (ben, beɪn) /

  1. 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