• WordNet 3.6
    • adj sinister 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"
    • adj sinister on or starting from the wearer's left "bar sinister"
    • adj sinister 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"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The word "dexterity", to do with skill is related to the right hand. The opposite of the word "deter" is "sinister", to do with evil, it is related to the left hand
    • Sinister Indicative of lurking evil or harm; boding covert danger; as, a sinister countenance.
    • Sinister 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"
    • Sinister 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."
    • Sinister Wrong, as springing from indirection or obliquity; perverse; dishonest; corrupt; as, sinister aims. "Nimble and sinister tricks and shifts.""He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts.""He read in their looks . . . sinister intentions directed particularly toward himself."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sinister Left, as opposed to right; on the left side; specifically, in heraldry, noting the left-hand side of the person who carries the shield on his arm (therefore the right-hand side of the spectator): the sinister part of the escutcheon is opposed to the dexter part (see dexter). Bearings such as beasts and birds nearly always turn away from the sinister and toward the dexter; when they are turned toward the sinister, they are said to be reversed. See cut under point, 21.
    • sinister On or toward the left or unlucky side; hence, of ill omen; inauspicious; threatening or suggesting evil.
    • sinister Bringing evil; harmful; malign; unfortunate in results.
    • sinister Unpleasant; disagreeable.
    • sinister Malicious; evil; base; wrong.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Sinister sin′is-tėr left: on the left hand: evil: unfair: dishonest: unlucky: inauspicious, malign
    • ***


  • William Blake
    “When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. sinister,: cf. F. sinistre,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

Weird laughter returned to mock her astonished ears, a sinister echo.
"The Adventures of Kathlyn" by Harold MacGrath
His laugh had a sinister quality in it; in his eyes was the light of greed.
"The Trail Horde" by Charles Alden Seltzer
In a very short time he was above the cliffs, silent, sinister, almost stealthy.
"The Way of the Wild" by F. St. Mars
For it was this helpless position, lying on the back, that shouted its sinister evidence at General Feraud.
"The Point Of Honor A Military Tale" by Joseph Conrad
We came to a spot having a very sinister tradition attached to it (the Menin Gate).
"At Ypres with Best-Dunkley" by Thomas Hope Floyd
Not for him were the sinister streets and the sordid taverns of the town.
"The Tin Soldier" by Temple Bailey
And yet, Heaven knows what sinister music the bullets played around our ears!
"In the Field (1914-1915)" by Marcel Dupont
Then she whispered the sinister prayer which was to give to the feathers the power to do harm.
"The Delight Makers" by Adolf Bandelier
The fact that Braden was responsible for his death had no sinister meaning for her.
"From the Housetops" by George Barr McCutcheon
And then came the touch that she dreaded, the sinewy hands lifting her, the sinister face looking into hers.
"The Swindler and Other Stories" by Ethel M. Dell

In poetry:

Then my sullen and sinister tummy
Rose slowly and spoke to my brain;
"Say, boss, what's the stuff you've been drinking
That fills me with nothing but pain?
"Owed To Volstead" by Wallace Irwin
Through clouds of fiendish greed and wicked spite,
a sinister shadow crept near,
a gold-armoured monster reared his height
dripping with blood and human tears.
"A Youth" by Hristo Smirnenski
We go, in courage equal and in breed,
Break thro' the barrier of Teutonic hate
To save a Nation from the power of Greed,
And rescue man from slavish, sinister fate.
"The Song of the Crusaders" by John William Streets
Burnt black by strange decay
Their sinister faces lie,
The lid over each eye,
The grass and coloured clay
More motion have than they,
Joined to the great sunk silences.
"Dead Man's Dump" by Isaac Rosenberg
"Sinister-wise across the fair gold ground!
Here let me tell you what a knight you are,
O sword and shield of Arthur! you are found
A crooked sword, I think, that leaves a scar
"King Arthur's Tomb" by William Morris
Through the green boughs I hardly saw thy face,
They twined so close: the sun was in mine eyes;
And now the sullen trees in sombre lace
Stand bare beneath the sinister, sad skies.
"Saint Germain-En-Laye" by Ernest Christopher Dowson

In news:

McHenry is following the sinister Republican game plan: stay away from announced, truly open-to-the-public events, where he would face the anger and criticism that he deserves.
No, not that near constant burning sensation caused by either the tanning bed or something far more sinister.
"Argo," "Here Comes the Boom" and Sinister are opening at Boaz 9 Cinema on Friday.
'Sinister' not nearly as scary as it sounds ?
Ethan Hawke stars in ' Sinister '.
Argo, Taken 2, and Sinister end the weekend in a tight finish.
Sinister is a frightening new thriller from the producer of the Paranormal Activity films and the writer-director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
' Sinister ' not nearly as scary as it sounds ?
Ethan Hawke stars in the film " Sinister ".
Sinister Directed by Scott Derrickson.
' Sinister ' review: Horror-thriller is intense to a fault.
Ethan Hawke stars in writer-director Scott Derrickson's horror-thriller ' Sinister '.
SINISTER And then he realized Reality Bites was even worse than he remembered.
Tim Grierson also reviews "Seven Psychopaths," " Sinister ," "Smashed," and "Middle of Nowhere.".
Juliet Rylance Teams Up With Ethan Hawke in ' Sinister '.