Sunday, October 17, 2010

baleful vs baneful


1. Portending evil; ominous. 
2. Harmful or malignant in intent or effect.

His companions in the baleful work seemed to have taken on something of his feeling.

         Had it not been for the baleful star on the white tower that early walk would have been a delight to Anne and Gilbert.
Bill shot a baleful glance in her direction.


destructive, poisonous, or fatal

My foible was patriotism; I was ruined by the baneful habit of trying to serve my country.

He made some commonplace observation upon the baneful effect of the night air at the season.

His baneful anger threatened all of their safety and security.


Baleful and baneful overlap in meaning, but baleful usually applies to something that is menacing or foreshadows evil: a baleful look. Baneful most often describes that which is actually harmful or destructive: baneful effects of their foreign policy.

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