a person or thing that ruins or spoils: Gambling was the bane of his existence.
a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants): wolfsbane; henbane.
death; destruction; ruin.
Obsolete. that which causes death or destroys life: entrapped and drowned beneath the watery bane.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English bana slayer; cognate with Old Norse bani death, murderer, Old Frisian bona murder, Old Saxon bano murderer, Old High German bano slayer, bana death; akin to Old English benn, Gothic banja wound Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bane1 (beɪn)
1.  a person or thing that causes misery or distress (esp in the phrase bane of one's life)
2.  something that causes death or destruction
3.  a.  a fatal poison
 b.  (in combination): ratsbane
4.  archaic ruin or distress
[Old English bana; related to Old Norse bani death, Old High German bano destruction, death]

bane2 (ben, beɪn)
a Scot word for bone

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bana "killer, slayer, murderer," from P.Gmc. *banon, cognate with *banja- "wound" (cf. O.Fris. bona "murderer," O.H.G. bana "murder," O.E. benn "wound," Goth. banja "stroke, wound"), from PIE base *gwhen- "to strike, kill, wound" (cf. Avestan banta "ill"). Modern sense of "that which causes ruin
or woe" is from 1570s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Blisters are the bane of house painters, both pros and amateurs.
Spam is the bane of computer users everywhere, accounting for more than 90% of
Endless replays can be the bane of any telecast.
Traffic jams are the bane of any commuter.
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