evil eye

or E·vil Eye

[ ee-vuhl ahy ]
See synonyms for evil eye on Thesaurus.com
nounOften the e·vil eye .
  1. Often Facetious. a look expressing hostility, stern disapproval, jealousy, etc.: As he left he turned and cast an evil eye in my direction, full of contempt.I’d better get off the phone—I’m getting the evil eye from my mom.

  2. a look thought to be capable of inflicting bad luck or misfortune on the person at whom it is directed: One did not need to be a witch to give the evil eye—it could happen accidentally.

  1. the power, superstitiously attributed to certain persons, of inflicting bad luck or misfortune by a look: The evil eye was recognized by the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and ancient Egyptians from as early as 3000 b.c.

  2. an attack carried out by means of magic power exercised through a look; a curse, jinx, or spell: Do you know anyone who can remove the evil eye?

Origin of evil eye

First recorded before 1000; Middle English, Old English

Other words from evil eye

  • e·vil-eyed, adjective

Words Nearby evil eye

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use evil eye in a sentence

  • These unwonted accompaniments of a bachelor supper were looked upon with an evil eye by some of the guests.

    Alone | Marion Harland
  • He lifted the lump to the light of his lamp, and from the centre of it a mocking evil eye leered back at him.

British Dictionary definitions for evil eye

evil eye

nounthe 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 forms of evil eye

  • 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

Other 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.