evil eye

  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-eyed

Historical Examples of evil-eyed

  • They were six in number, evil-eyed men of Ethiopia, and seated in a circle.

    The World's Desire

    H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang

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

    That Fortune

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • But to be evil-eyed, is not that worse than to have no eyes?

    The Eagle's Nest

    John Ruskin

  • It was a dark, evil-eyed face with a trembling leer about the mouth.

    The Magic Curtain

    Roy J. Snell

  • The dark, evil-eyed one who was apparently known as Al, stood his ground.

    The Magic Curtain

    Roy J. Snell

British Dictionary definitions for evil-eyed

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-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 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.