Note: [Accented on the middle syllable by the older poets, as Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden.]
1. On the left hand, or the side of the left hand; left; -- opposed to dexter, or right. “Here on his sinister cheek.”
My mother's blood
Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
Bounds in my father's --Shak.
Note: ☞ In heraldy the sinister side of an escutcheon is the side which would be on the left of the bearer of the shield, and opposite the right hand of the beholder.
2. Unlucky; inauspicious; disastrous; injurious; evil; -- the left being usually regarded as the unlucky side; as, sinister influences.
All the several ills that visit earth,
Brought forth by night, with a sinister birth. --B. Jonson.
3. Wrong, as springing from indirection or obliquity; perverse; dishonest; corrupt; as, sinister aims.
Nimble and sinister tricks and shifts. --Bacon.
He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts. --South.
He read in their looks . . . sinister intentions directed particularly toward himself. --Sir W. Scott.
4. Indicative of lurking evil or harm; boding covert danger; as, a sinister countenance.
Bar sinister. Her. See under Bar, n.
Sinister aspect Astrol., an appearance of two planets happening according to the succession of the signs, as Saturn in Aries, and Mars in the same degree of Gemini.
Sinister base, Sinister chief. See under Escutcheon.
adj 1: threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments; "a
baleful look"; "forbidding thunderclouds"; "his tone
became menacing"; "ominous rumblings of discontent";
"sinister storm clouds"; "a sinister smile"; "his
threatening behavior"; "ugly black clouds"; "the
situation became ugly" [syn: baleful, forbidding,
menacing, minacious, minatory, ominous, threatening,
2: stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or
dishonorable; "black deeds"; "a black lie"; "his black
heart has concocted yet another black deed"; "Darth Vader
of the dark side"; "a dark purpose"; "dark undercurrents
of ethnic hostility"; "the scheme of some sinister
intelligence bent on punishing him"-Thomas Hardy [syn: black,
3: on or starting from the wearer's left; "bar sinister"