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evil eye

a look thought capable of inflicting injury or bad luck on the person at whom it is directed.
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 forms
evil-eyed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for evil eye
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Our neighbour Zalmen was a giant of a man—may no evil eye harm him!

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • Witches, beggars, and people of the lowest class have the evil eye.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • With the evil eye of Albert upon him, he should have known that safety was impossible for him in the event of error.

    The Lily and the Totem William Gilmore Simms
  • Therefore, it is as well always to carry some charm against the evil eye.

    Diversions in Sicily H. Festing Jones
  • And after Fielding Bey the clean-faced ape that cast the evil eye upon me yesterday, and bade me die.

  • It was none other than our friend here with the evil eye—Kniaz!'

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • They do not look with an evil eye upon the political privileges of the whites, and say we have the majority, and we'll rule.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus American Anti-Slavery Society
  • He cast an evil eye upon my child, and I killed and hid him.

British Dictionary definitions for evil eye

evil eye

noun the evil eye
a look or glance superstitiously supposed to have the power of inflicting harm or injury
the power to inflict harm, etc, by such a look
Derived Forms
evil-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
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evil eye in the Bible

(Prov. 23:6), figuratively, the envious or covetous. (Comp. Deut. 15:9; Matt. 20:15.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with evil eye

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 Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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