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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for evil-eye
Historical Examples
  • At present, the Bisara is safe on an ekka-pony's neck, inside the blue bead-necklace that keeps off the evil-eye.

  • Or if you didn't kill him, you'd cast the evil-eye on him, for you are well known to have the evil-eye.

    A Terrible Temptation Charles Reade
  • Dread of the evil-eye is as prevalent with the Jews as with the other races in Turkey.

    Turkey Julius R. Van Millingen
  • These flints were often sewed into the dresses of children to protect them from the evil-eye.

    Folk Lore James Napier
  • I reined in sharply, when I saw this person, and he looked at me like the evil-eye, through his great owlish orbs.

    Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, George Alfred Townsend
  • They also string a bean to hang around the necks of their babies, believing that it will act as a charm against the evil-eye.

  • Somebody must have looked on the povera signora with the evil-eye, Signor Dottore.

    The Call of the Blood Robert Smythe Hichens
  • He had give one hop and a flutter and got across, where he sat, silent for once in his life and giving us the evil-eye.

    Believe You Me! Nina Wilcox Putnam
  • Folk fell to repeating Dumas' "evil-eye" words, and to applying them to discrowned old Ludwig.

    Superwomen Albert Payson Terhune
  • Now, had I believed in the voodoo craft, or in the power of an evil-eye, I should also have feared.

    The Maid-At-Arms Robert W. Chambers
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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