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Sinister   Listen
adjective
Sinister  adj.  (Accented on the middle syllable by the older poets, as Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden.)
1.
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" Note: In heraldy the sinister side of an escutcheon is the side which would be on the left of the bearer of the shield, and opposite the right hand of the beholder.
2.
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."
3.
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."
4.
Indicative of lurking evil or harm; boding covert danger; as, a sinister countenance.
Bar sinister. (Her.) See under Bar, n.
Sinister aspect (Astrol.), an appearance of two planets happening according to the succession of the signs, as Saturn in Aries, and Mars in the same degree of Gemini.
Sinister base, Sinister chief. See under Escutcheon.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Sinister" Quotes from Famous Books



... down, took his own knees in his arms and looked at it. It was not so wide, but it looked stiller than the sky, and bottomless. The banks were so low that the least rain lifted it over. It strayed now, here and there, between tree roots. There was no such word as "sinister" in Steve's vocabulary. He only said, "Gawd! I wouldn't live here for choice!" The country across the stream engaged his attention. Seen from this bank it appeared all forest clad, but where his own existence from moment to moment ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... cause even the but-half-pacified Faith to glance an arch look at her companion, though he still had reason to distrust a wilful expression that lurked in the corner of her eyes, which threatened at each moment to contradict his relation of the sinister omens. ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... past of the worn-out and trench-foul veterans comes to an end among the ironical and almost malevolent faces of these sinister troglodytes, whom their caverns of mud ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... to receive him. Electors thronged round him, to assure him that their votes were at his disposal. To such a height were his pretensions carried, that he not only exhibited on his escutcheon the lions of England and the lilies of France without the baton sinister under which, according to the law of heraldry, they should have been debruised in token of his illegitimate birth, but ventured to touch for the king's evil. At the same time he neglected no art of condescension ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... listening, and apparently doing his best to take in what we said. Though he was a handsome young fellow, yet, as I before remarked, I did not like the expression of his countenance; it now struck me that it had a cunning, sinister look. Whenever he saw my eyes directed towards him, he turned away, and appeared to be thinking only of the ...
— In the Rocky Mountains - A Tale of Adventure • W. H. G. Kingston

... crowded. At the appearance of Edith there arose a murmur of universal sympathy and pity. All the impressions which had been formed of her were falsified. Some had expected to see a coarse masculine woman; others a crafty, sinister face; others an awkward, ill-bred rustic, neglected since her father's trial by designing guardians. Instead of this there appeared before them a slender, graceful, youthful form, with high refinement and perfect breeding in every outline ...
— The Living Link • James De Mille

... depravity; and, week after week, as they meet they reckon up their items of transgression, and give an abstract of their downward progress for approval and encouragement. These folk form a freemasonry of their own. An oath is the shibboleth of their sinister fellowship. Once they hear a man swear, it is wonderful how their tongues loosen and their bashful spirits take enlargement under the consciousness of brotherhood. There is no folly, no pardoning warmth of temper about them; they are as steady-going and systematic in their ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... road to the docks. They walked quickly, but Peter seemed to himself conscious of everyone that passed. He scanned faces, as if to read a riddle in them. There were men who lounged by, gay, reckless, out for fun plainly, but without any other sinister thought, apparently. There were Tommies who saluted and trudged on heavily. There were a couple of Yorkshire boys who did not notice them, flushed, animal, making determinedly for a destination down the street. There was one man at least who passed walking alone, ...
— Simon Called Peter • Robert Keable

... Half-moon Street and was duly admitted by a dignified, albeit somewhat mournful gentleman in blue and silver, who, after a moment of sighing hesitancy, ushered him into a small reception room where sat a bullet-headed man with one eye and a remarkably bristly chin, a sinister looking person who stared very hard with his one eye, and sucked very hard, with much apparent relish and gusto, at the knob of the stick he carried. At sight of this man the mournful gentleman averted his head, and vented a sound which, ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... the road became sinister: she remembered the strange silence of the trees and the clangorous barking of the dogs, the hoarse voices from the encampment in the hollow. It had been very dark there and an extraordinary blackness had buried ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... in Mr. Shackford's mind that Richard, so soon as he had finished his studies, should enter the law-office of Blandmann & Sharpe, a firm of rather sinister reputation in ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... have exchanged my shadow for this very extraordinary purse, and I have sufficiently repented it. For Heaven's sake, let the transaction be declared null and void!" He shook his head, and his countenance assumed an expression of the most sinister cast. I continued: "I will make no exchange whatever, even for the sake of my shadow, nor will I sign the paper. It follows, also, that the incognito visit you propose to me would afford you far more entertainment than it could possibly give me. Accept my excuses, therefore; and, ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: German (V.2) • Various

... public sentiment, if really such, would, indeed, have been imposing—grand. Viewed only as a theatrical performance of parts learned to order—and it was nothing more—it was deserving of nothing but contempt. There was in this display, besides, a sinister and melancholy feature—a set of actors practising on the popular mind to-day, in order to discover what they might safely ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... The sinister figure on the black horse slowly raised his arm, and motioned Carl toward him, at the same time swinging his black horse around and riding ...
— Ted Strong in Montana - With Lariat and Spur • Edward C. Taylor

... now playing on his pale, narrow lips, and his eyes were beaming and flashing in an almost sinister manner. Stepping back to the table, he fixed his eyes upon the document with the ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

... type of box of matches. When you looked at them carefully you saw that they were perfectly honest, perfectly straightforward, perfectly, perfectly stupid. But the brick pink of his complexion, running perfectly level to the brick pink of his inner eyelids, gave them a curious, sinister expression—like a mosaic of blue porcelain set in pink china. And that chap, coming into a room, snapped up the gaze of every woman in it, as dexterously as a conjurer pockets billiard balls. It was most amazing. You know the man on the stage who throws up sixteen balls ...
— The Good Soldier • Ford Madox Ford

... the steady contemplation of what is bright in others, has a reflex influence upon the beholder. It reproduces what it reflects. Nay, it seems to leave an impress even upon the countenance. The feature, from having a dark, sinister aspect, becomes open, serene, and sunny. A countenance so impressed, has neither the vacant stare of the idiot, nor the crafty, penetrating look of the basilisk, but the clear, placid aspect of truth and goodness. The woman who has such a face is beautiful. She has a beauty which changes not with ...
— Searchlights on Health - The Science of Eugenics • B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols

... Lady Frances, who had not lost her frank Americanism when she married Lord Bob, The handsome face of the young prince had been in his thoughts the night before until sleep came, and then there were dreams in which the same face appeared vaguely sinister and foreboding. He had acted on the advice of Lord Bob and had said nothing ...
— Castle Craneycrow • George Barr McCutcheon

... earlier a dramatic incident had occurred. In a very sinister personage, Aleister Crowley, had been introduced into the Order on the recommendation of A. E. Waite (S.R. Sacramentum Regis) the well-known mystical writer. A man of many aliases, Crowley followed the precedent of the "Comte de Saint-Germain," the "Comte de ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... constitution with them, the ruin would have been pathetic enough. But alas! the outward wreck was a symbol, a result, of inner dissolution. Through the door of the hoarding the two pillars of the front door told a sorry tale. Pasted on either of them was a dingy bill, bearing the sinister imprimatur of an auctioneer, and offering (in capitals of various sizes) Bedroom Suites (Walnut and Mahogany), Turkey, Indian and Wilton Pile Carpets, Two Full-sized Billiard-Tables, a Remington Type-writer, a Double Door (Fire-Proof), and other objects not less ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... spend money faster than they could get it, and to need the benevolent aid that Mr Moses was ready to afford them. Methusaleh's spirits and confidence rose tremendously at such appearances. One after the other was silently pronounced "the real Lord Downy." Then came two or three sinister visages—faces half muffled up, with educated features, small cunning eyes, and perhaps green spectacles—conspirators every one—villains who had evidently conspired to reduce Mr Moses's balance at his banker's, ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 365, March, 1846 • Various

... not know the murderer, and the purple must outweigh the life of one man, for it is often bought with many thousand lives. And then, Lucilla, as you know, I love happy faces, and Revenge has a sinister brow. Let us be happy, oh wife of Caesar! Tomorrow I shall have much to tell you, now I must go to a splendid banquet which the son of Plutarch is giving in my honor. I cannot stay with you—truly I cannot, I have ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... unprecedented strain upon the American Federation of Labor. In every center of industry laborers of foreign birth early showed their racial sympathies, and under the stimuli of the intriguing German and Austrian ambassadors sinister plots for crippling munitions plants and the shipping industries were hatched everywhere. Moreover, workingmen became restive under the burden of increasing prices, and strikes for higher ...
— The Armies of Labor - Volume 40 in The Chronicles Of America Series • Samuel P. Orth

... quite otherwise with us, who engage as volunteers in the service of a flourishing ministry, in full credit with the Q[uee]n, and beloved by the people, because they have no sinister ends or dangerous designs, but pursue with steadiness and resolution the true interests of both. Upon which account they little want or desire our assistance; and we may write till the world is ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... they entertained toward each other, and their uninterrupted possession of power, destroyed that vigilance over those who might injure them, which they ought to have exercised. Thus daily renewing the hatred of a mass of the people by their sinister proceedings, and either negligent of the threatened dangers, because rendered fearless by prosperity, or encouraging them through mutual envy, they gave an opportunity to the family of the Medici to recover their influence. The first to do so was Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, who having become ...
— History Of Florence And Of The Affairs Of Italy - From The Earliest Times To The Death Of Lorenzo The Magnificent • Niccolo Machiavelli

... in the yet liquid basalt of some distant geological sea. These stupendous masses would have terrified the settlers if they had been cast at first on this part of the island! They had not been able to perceive the sinister aspect of this shore from the summit of Mount Franklin, for they overlooked it from too great a height, but viewed from the sea it presented a wild appearance which could not perhaps be equaled in any corner ...
— The Mysterious Island • Jules Verne

... appeared to shake. Though her sufferings were now becoming keener and less endurable, the countess dared not awaken her husband; but she turned and examined his features, as if despair were urging her to find a consolation there against so many sinister forebodings. ...
— The Hated Son • Honore de Balzac

... entered upon new routes to the gold fields, which were now known to be far in the Yukon Valley, while others took the already well-known route by way of St. Michaels, and thence up the sinuous and sinister stream whose waters began on the eastern slope of the glacial peaks just inland from Juneau, and swept to the north and west for more than two thousand miles. It was understood that this way was long and hard and cold, yet thousands eagerly embarked ...
— The Trail of the Goldseekers - A Record of Travel in Prose and Verse • Hamlin Garland

... positive on the point. Had we not bought at least a dozen newspapers? Why a dozen, when sensible people would have been satisfied with one? Such extensive purchases must surely have been prompted by some sinister motive. Besides, he had heard us conversing in German. English, indeed! No, no! He was certain that we had spoken German, and was equally certain of ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... right, and the manner and purposes for which it was used, ought not to have been separated. What he thought on this occasion appears in his opinion transmitted by the Court of Directors to Mr. Hastings and the Council-General. "But it was as great a crime to dissolve the Council upon base and sinister motives as it would be to assume the power of dissolving, if he had it not. I believe he is the first governor that ever dissolved a council inquiring into his behavior, when he was innocent. Before he could summon ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VIII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... sinister, defiant, menacing quality was lost on Ranny. He said to himself: "She's rattled, poor girl; and she's worried. That's why she looks ...
— The Combined Maze • May Sinclair

... whose heavy straight hair was crimped at the ends into bands of brownish-black fuzz, and who wore white stockings and tasselled boots, and flounced, elaborately embroidered white dresses on Sundays. Whatever their bar sinister, the Montivertes flourished and grew rich, and a suspicion of something irregular, some high-handed disposition of the benefit of clergy, helped rather than ...
— The Story Of Julia Page - Works of Kathleen Norris, Volume V. • Kathleen Norris

... like a sword, with a slicing sharpness in its tone that made it a sinister contrast to the first sweet question to his "pretty men." "Eih?" he said again, and stared with open mouth and ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... great anxiety. Lord Milner and General Castelnau had returned from Petrograd. In Paris, at any rate, it was not believed that they brought good news. All the huge efforts of the Allies to supply Russia with money, munitions, and transport, were they to go for nothing, owing to some sinister and thwarting influence which seemed to be strangling the ...
— Towards The Goal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... what destroyed the French kingdom was despotism. A sounder explanation discovers the causes less in despotism than in anarchy—anarchy in every department where it could be most ruinous. No substantial reconstruction was possible, because all the evils came from the sinister interests of the nobles, the clergy, or the financiers; and these classes, informally bound together against the common weal, were too strong for either the sovereign or the ablest minister to thrust them aside. The ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 2 of 3) - Essay 3: Condorcet • John Morley

... rougeatres, les barres et les etoilles bleu, les ombrements et la couronne jaune!" Translated as literally as such doubtful language and construction can be, this signifies: "A count's coronet, the escutcheon with two bends sinister and two stars, bearing the letters B. P., which signify Buonaparte, the field of the arms red, the bends and stars blue, the letters and coronet yellow!" In heraldic parlance this would be: Gules, two bends sinister between two estoiles azure charged with B. P. for ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... we had grown familiar, and which had begun to creep into the very habit of our thought and of our lives, have altered their aspect as we have latterly looked critically upon them, with fresh, awakened eyes; have dropped their disguises and shown themselves alien and sinister. Some new things, as we look frankly upon them, willing to comprehend their real character, have come to assume the aspect of things long believed in and familiar, stuff of our own convictions. We have been refreshed by a new ...
— President Wilson's Addresses • Woodrow Wilson

... and loudly, though there was neither mirth nor merriment in his sinister tones. The blood of the poor listener froze in his veins at ...
— Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer - A Romance of the Spanish Main • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... annoyed me in some way. It, and his grins and gesticulations, had a sinister seeming. My trade brought me into contact with so many low-class aliens. I told myself I was getting insular and prejudiced, and resumed my meal with more thought for myself and my tendencies and affairs than for the East Anglian business. I have wondered since what ...
— The Message • Alec John Dawson

... her when she brought the Guru in to lunch, without any bother at all, was troubled and broken up, and darling Daisy's note, containing the outrageous falsity that the Guru would not certainly accept an invitation which had never been permitted to reach him at all, assumed a more sinister aspect. Clearly now Daisy had intended to keep him to herself, a fact that she already suspected and had made a ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... it to no one. But I was immensely relieved when the sinister visitor took his departure the morning after, and it was upon this occurrence that my mind was ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... Biarritz, when the sky had the dull glare of intense heat and the sea was of a sinister, inky black, and was swelling and rolling enormous phosphorescent waves onto the beach at Port-Vieux, Lilie, who was listless and strange, and was making holes in the sand with the heels of her boots, suddenly exclaimed in one of those longings for confidence which women ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... The bear shrank back with a sort of gasp, appalled—at least shocked—by the result! After a little, not feeling much the worse for it, the brute returned as if to invite another electric shock—perhaps with some sinister design in view. But another and a brighter idea had entered Benjy's brain. Instead of giving the bear a shock, he tore off a small bit of seal-blubber from the mass at his side, which he dropped into its mouth. It swallowed that morsel with satisfaction, and waited ...
— The Giant of the North - Pokings Round the Pole • R.M. Ballantyne

... endeavor to coerce his temperament, to take exception to his originality, to forbid his using the eyes and wits bestowed on him by Nature. To blame him for seeing things as beautiful or ugly, as mean or epic, as gracious or sinister, is to reproach him for not being made on this or that pattern, and for having eyes which do not see exactly as ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume VIII. • Guy de Maupassant

... few dancers such as that ghost! It lunged actively toward the precipice. It suddenly dashed wildly back—gyrating continually with singularly nimble feet, flinging wiry arms aloft and maintaining a sinister silence, while the frightened clamor at the house grew ever louder and ...
— The Young Mountaineers - Short Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... reforms which it witnessed were destined to make it, no reign ever commenced with more sinister omens than that at which we have now arrived. The new King had not been on the throne a month, when a conspiracy was discovered, surpassing in its treasonable atrocity any that had been heard of in the kingdom ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults of the first. So I might, besides correcting the faults, change some sinister accidents and events of it for others more favorable. But though this were denied, I should still accept the offer. Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing most like living one's life over ...
— The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... unfortunate for Sweden, for he was entirely without the gifts of a regent. He was a lover of order, economy, justice, and pure morals, but through lack of mental and physical strength his good qualities were misdirected. His father's tragic fate had a sinister effect upon his mind, the equilibrium of which was also shaken by the outrages of the revolutionists in France. Of a morbid sensibility, and without inclination to confide in any one, his religious mysticism led him into a state close to insanity. He imagined himself to be the ...
— Norwegian Life • Ethlyn T. Clough

... necessities, and extort from him concessions dangerous to his royal dignity: that this parliament, by their past conduct, had given no foundation for such suspicions, and were so far from pursuing any sinister ends, that they had granted supplies for the first Dutch war; for maintaining the triple league, though concluded without their advice; even for carrying on the second Dutch war, which was entered into ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part F. - From Charles II. to James II. • David Hume

... beneath these immediately disconcerting things still more sinister hintings and questioning were beginning to pluck at contentment. In 1899 nobody would have dreamt of asking and in 1909 even Mr. Brumley was asking, "Are things going on much longer?" A hundred little incidents conspired to suggest that a Christianity that ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... new industrial order offered both the practical incentive and the theoretical justification for institutional declension from humane to primitive standards. It is not to be supposed that men slipped deliberately into paganism; the human mind is not so sinister as it is stupid nor so cruel as it is unimaginative nor so brutal as it is complacent. For the most part we do not really understand, in our daily lives, what we are about. Hence society degenerated, as it always does, in the confident and stubborn belief that it was improving ...
— Preaching and Paganism • Albert Parker Fitch

... expected, its adversaries and supporters. Which will preponderate is yet to be decided. The former more than probably will be most active, as the major part of them will, it is to be feared, be governed by sinister and self-important motives, to which everything in their ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... as an extension of Bulgaria's frontiers at Serbia's expense farther north. Bulgaria was also allowed to extort a separate price from Turkey in the shape of a strip of land along the Maritza controlling that river and Adrianople. An even more sinister concession to Bulgarian exorbitance was that of Epirus, a district assigned to Albania in 1913 but populated by Greeks who had revolted and claimed incorporation in Greece. This Prussian complaisance was doubtless due to the fact that ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... when she at length determined to put an end to such an anomalous state of things and assert herself. It was difficult to do so. She loved Hilda dearly, and placed perfect confidence in her. She was too guileless to dream of any sinister motive in her friend; and the only difficulty of which she was conscious was the fear that Hilda might suspect the change in her feelings toward Guy. The very idea of Hilda's finding this out alarmed her sensitive pride, and made her defer for a long time her intent. At length, ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... sinister handiwork—from a distance, from the cities. One flood tide she found the water covered with muskmelons. They bobbed and bumped along up the estuary in countless thousands. Where they stranded against the rocks she was able to get them. But each and every melon—and she patiently ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... eerie sound. It rose and fell in the darkness like a melancholy organ chord. The wailing of the women quivered against the heavy grief of the men. The half-asleep listeners were moved by its weirdness to vague and sinister fancies. The dolor veered away from what the Anglo-Saxon knows as grief and was shot through with the uncanny and the terrible. White children crawled out of their small beds and groped their way to their parents. ...
— Birthright - A Novel • T.S. Stribling

... shoulder roused Villon from his honeyed meditations, and he turned with a start to find the sable figure of the king at his side and the sinister visage ...
— If I Were King • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... by, becomes more sinister than the last. They fight at Clamart as they fight at Neuilly, at Meudon and at Courbevoie. Everywhere rage the mitrailleuses, the cannon, and the rifle; the victories of the Communalists are lyingly proclaimed. The truth of their pretended triumphs will ...
— Paris under the Commune • John Leighton

... wanted to search the depths of his soul, and to penetrate the secret thoughts of his heart. She saw how he turned pale when, not Queen Catharine, but his brother, Earl Hertford, was appointed regent during Edward's minority; she saw the sinister, almost angry look which he threw at the queen; and with ...
— Henry VIII And His Court • Louise Muhlbach

... eclipsed even the vulgar understood to be in some way due to the moon intercepting its light: but what body could intercept the moon's light, so that suddenly the full moon should pale its light and alter its colour, they could not explain, but thought that it was a sinister omen and portended some ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... fairly started in a career of bloodshed, that she would never end until her vengeance was complete. At last she wore out his courage and his strength alike, and the inquiry gradually faded away before the persistent and sinister vindictiveness of the royal witch at Rueil. She soon was strong enough to put her creature Melantius back in his episcopal chair, and he was content to officiate upon the very stones that were still stained with the ...
— The Story of Rouen • Sir Theodore Andrea Cook

... something sinister, she was certain, in the glance he cast towards the car. He was armed. Could it be that he and the station man were road-agents, plotting some act of violence? They were certainly talking about the machine, or its owner, ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... everything the designs of God, he seized the occasion to invoke Him with more fervour; he immediately ordered in his seminary public prayers to implore the mercy of the Most High. M. de Frontenac, who was about to begin his second administration, learned the sinister news on his arrival at Quebec on October 15th. He set out immediately for Montreal, which he reached on the twenty-seventh of the same month. He visited the environments, and found only ruins and ashes ...
— The Makers of Canada: Bishop Laval • A. Leblond de Brumath

... rectitude—though desired—was not always to be clearly discerned; in which great interests have been placed within my control, under circumstances in which it would have been easy to advance private ends and sinister projects;—under these circumstances, I inquire, as I have a right to inquire,—for in the recent contest insinuations have been cast against my integrity,—in this long management of your affairs, whatever errors have been committed,—and doubtless there ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... took off at a few minutes past noon, more than three hours behind their rivals. It was disheartening, to say the least—all the more so on account of the fact that their delay had again been caused by the sinister acts of the other crew. They made up their minds that if they should meet Pete Deveaux and his crowd at another stop, something worse than a single ...
— Around the World in Ten Days • Chelsea Curtis Fraser

... strange creature that fixed and held the attention. Large they were, and black—the dull, opaque, lusterless black of platinum sponge. The pupils were a brighter black, and in them flamed ruby lights: pitiless, mocking, cold. Plainly to be read in those sinister depths were the untold wisdom of unthinkable age, sheer ruthlessness, mighty power, and ferocity unrelieved. His baleful gaze swept from one member of the party to another, and to meet the glare of those eyes was ...
— Skylark Three • Edward Elmer Smith

... stillness in the air, which frightened the birds that had a mind to sing, and left the field open to a few captious frogs croaking in the ditches. Still as the atmosphere was, the leaves rustled with that sinister, shivering motion which proceeds from no outer cause, but is rather an instinctive shudder of the frail branches, prescient of a coming storm. That stupid clock, which knew no middle course, and always skipped from one hour to the other, pointed to seven as the young men passed under ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... history of Abelard and the legend of Tannhauser. More and more, as we come to mark changes and distinctions of temper in what is often in one all-embracing confusion called the middle age, that rebellion, that sinister claim for liberty of heart and thought, comes to the surface. The Albigensian movement, connected so strangely with the history of Provencal poetry, is deeply tinged with it. A touch of it makes the Franciscan order, with ...
— The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Horatio Pater

... Miss Thurston, why can't you make up your mind to like me?" he questioned. "Surely you don't suspect me of dark designs, do you? You American people are so strange. Just because I am half a Russian you think I have some sinister purpose in my mind. I am not an anarchist, and I don't want to go about trampling on the poor. I wish you could meet the Russian ambassador. He is about the most splendid-looking man you ever saw. I know him, well, ...
— The Automobile Girls At Washington • Laura Dent Crane

... his head and smiled. The expression gave to his face a touch of the sinister. "No—but it is yet possible to forget, Senor. I serve no King, I serve you. Sometimes a mistake is the ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... Godiva's bed. The next moment the door of the bower was thrown violently open, and in walked, or rather reeled, a noble lad eighteen years old. His face was of extraordinary beauty, save that the lower jaw was too long and heavy, and that his eyes wore a strange and almost sinister expression, from the fact that the one of them was gray and the other blue. He was short, but of immense breadth of chest and strength of limb; while his delicate hands and feet and long locks of golden hair marked him of most noble, and even, as he really ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... unchangeable stars that had soothed her spirit. It was red, mutable, shrouded in shadows, terrible like her mood. A dust-veiled sunset colored the vast, brooding, naked waste of rock and sand. The grim Chiricahua frowned black and sinister. The dim blue domes of the Guadalupes seemed to whisper, to beckon to her. Beyond them somewhere was Stewart, awaiting the end of a few brief hours—hours that to her were ...
— The Light of Western Stars • Zane Grey

... to her usual custom, went into the kitchen and baked a number of little cakelets, probably what we would call cookies. For what sinister reason no one could divine, but she counted these cakes as she took them from the baking-pans and placed them in the pantry. There were forty-nine, all told. That evening she counted them again; there were forty-eight. Then she complained ...
— The Moccasin Maker • E. Pauline Johnson

... stained, though not with wear, but with humanity. The old-fashioned black walnut bedstead in which the sick man lay seemed to have a thousand voices of experiences. A great piece was broken off one corner of the footboard. The wound in the wood looked sinister. Directly opposite the bed stood the black walnut bureau, with its swung glass. The glass was cracked diagonally, and reflected the bed and its occupant with an air of experience. Gordon went directly to his ...
— 'Doc.' Gordon • Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman

... after he had entered the room, he did not perceive either Father Time or the Masked Lady. He dropped one end of his bludgeon to the floor with a thump, and there he stood leering at Everychild with a sinister and triumphant expression. ...
— Everychild - A Story Which The Old May Interpret to the Young and Which the Young May Interpret to the Old • Louis Dodge

... competitive armaments is a diplomatic subterfuge,—there are indications that such has commonly been the case; but even if it commonly is visibly disingenuous, the need of making such a plea to cover more sinister designs is itself an evidence that an avowedly predatory enterprise no longer meets with the requisite popular approval. Even if an exception to this rule be admitted in the recent attitude of the German people, it is to be recalled that ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... might well be cause, that there might well be a sinister upheaval against the King with the Dauphin as its rallying centre he could easily believe, even without the evidence of the despatch. France had never yet known such a nation-builder as Louis. His quarries had lain north, ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... to mourn Above this people when they go astray. Is Whitman, the strong spirit, overworn? Has Whittier put his yearning wrath away? I will not and I dare not yet believe! Though furtively the sunlight seems to grieve, And the spring-laden breeze Out of the gladdening west is sinister With sounds of nameless battle overseas; Though when we turn and question in suspense If these things be indeed after these ways, And what things are to follow after these, Our fluent men of place and consequence Fumble and fill their ...
— The Little Book of Modern Verse • Jessie B. Rittenhouse

... family was not sentimental; it throve capitally in the sinister light that fell upon the farm from so many frightened minds, and felt it as power. The men were hard drinkers and card-players; but they never drank so much as to lose sight and feeling; and if they played away a horse early in the evening, they very likely won two ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... It was a sinister face that we looked on, sketched on the impressed margin, and very different from the photos in the papers. The head had been caught in an attitude of leaning against a wall, so that the salience of the jaw, ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... de Paris, so suggestive and exciting, is found alike in the history of Abelard and the legend of Tannhaeuser. More and more, as we come to mark changes and distinctions of temper in what is often in one all-embracing confusion called the middle age, this rebellious element, this sinister claim for liberty of heart and thought, comes to the surface. The Albigensian movement, connected so strangely with the history of Provencal poetry, is deeply tinged with it. A touch of it makes the Franciscan order, with its ...
— The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Pater

... position, and did everything, short of actual violence, that they could to demonstrate to the Koreans that they were able to enforce their demands. To the Cabinet Ministers themselves, and to the Emperor, all this display had a sinister and terrible meaning. They could not forget the night in 1895, when the Japanese soldiers had paraded around another palace, and when their picked bullies had forced their way inside and murdered the Queen. Japan had done this before; why should she ...
— Korea's Fight for Freedom • F.A. McKenzie

... sleep had descended at last on those weary lids. The hour was very late, close upon midnight, and yet the city was not asleep. That constant murmur—like unto the breaking of angry waves—still sent its sinister echo through the still night air, and even in the house of Dea Flavia it seemed that hundreds of eyes were still open, fear having chased sleep away. There was a sound—like the buzzing of bees—that ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... in her sombrest, most baleful mood. The sky was smouldering ochre. Over the island brooded a spirit sullen, alien, implacable, filled with the threat of latent, malefic forces waiting to be unleashed. It seemed an emanation out of the untamed, sinister heart of Papua herself—sinister even when she smiles. And now and then, on the wind, came a breath from virgin jungles, laden with unfamiliar odours, mysterious ...
— The Moon Pool • A. Merritt

... have gradually made into an inoffensive and amiable Unknown, even as we have made the universe a son of province of the earth, but a stranger arriving from another world, an unexpected visitor who comes in a rather sinister way to trouble the comfortable quiet in which we were slumbering, rocked by the firm and watchful hand of ...
— The Unknown Guest • Maurice Maeterlinck

... found, she clutched suddenly at the horn of her saddle as though all her strength had dribbled out of her, and she were going to fall. The keen nostrils of the animal had led him to this object with its sinister connection with the tragedy and he had pawed at it, dragging it toward him and free of the green tangle into which it had ...
— The Short Cut • Jackson Gregory

... locker and corner confabs had followed. Mary, who did not aspire to basket ball honors, had been present at these talks. In the beginning the discussions had merely been devoted to the devising of signals and the various methods of scoring against their opponents. But gradually a new and sinister note had crept in. Mignon did not actually counsel her team to take unfair advantages, but she made many artful suggestions, backed up by a play of her speaking shoulders that conveyed volumes to her followers. It began to dawn upon Mary that these "clever tricks," as Mignon was wont to ...
— Marjorie Dean - High School Sophomore • Pauline Lester

... the astounding bid, when I should instead have adjusted my preparations to meet the new conditions now confronting me. Here was a man about whom we knew nothing whatever. I had come to the instant conclusion that he was a prince of criminals, and that a sinister design, not at that moment fathomed by me, was on foot to get possession of the jewels. The handing up of the cheque was clearly a trick of some sort, and I fully expected the official to return and say the draft was good. I determined ...
— The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont • Robert Barr

... Marion Dearsley might have been pardoned had she shown tremors as the flying mountains towered over the vessel. Once a great black wall heaved up and doubled the intensity of the murky midnight by a sinister shade; there came a horrible silence, and then, with a loud bellow, the wall burst into ruin and crashed down on the ship in a torrent which seemed made up of a thousand conflicting streams. The skipper silently dashed aft, flung his ...
— A Dream of the North Sea • James Runciman

... represents the four lions rampant, towards the spectator's left, on a shield, surmounted by an open coronet; the dragon of Wales as a supporter on the dexter side, on the sinister a lion. The inscription seems to have ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... damn it, Kinch, when your dying mother asked you, Buck Mulligan said. I'm hyperborean as much as you. But to think of your mother begging you with her last breath to kneel down and pray for her. And you refused. There is something sinister in you... ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... is strong and the sense of injustice deep; the outstretched arm the haggard, but noble features; the bloomless and scathed youth, all gave to his features and his stature an aspect awful in its sinister and voiceless wrath. There he stood a moment, like one to whom woe and wrong have given a Prophet's power, guiding the eye of the unforgetful Fate to the roof of the Oppressor. Then slowly, and with a half smile, he turned away, and strode ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 2 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... door, now at the barred window, and then slowly there came to him the knowledge which would have enlightened a more suspicious man long before—that he was a prisoner in the grim fortress of Gudenfels. Casting his mind backward over the events of the morning, he now saw a dozen sinister warnings that had heretofore escaped him. If a friendly invitation had been intended, what need of the numerous guard of armed men sent to escort him? Why had Richart hesitated when certain questions were asked him? Count Herbert paced up and down the ...
— The Strong Arm • Robert Barr

... loudly at the neck of the point and a moment later a body of men came into view. As they clambered over the barricade, Charley counted them. They were twelve in number, one of them an Indian, his face disfigured by a long scar that gave to it a sinister, malignant expression. ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... in his sleep, cried out, and started up. As he did so, a snake, disturbed in its travel past him, suddenly raised itself in anger. Startled out of sleep by some inner torture, the man heard the sinister rattle he knew ...
— Northern Lights • Gilbert Parker

... simulated approval of what he said, but all the answer I returned was that I had come thither, as in duty bound, to receive the Queen's orders and to contribute all in my power to restore the public peace and tranquillity. The Queen gave a gracious nod, but I understood afterwards that she put a sinister interpretation upon my last speech, which was nevertheless very inoffensive and perfectly consonant to my character as Coadjutor of Paris; but it is a true saying that in the Courts of princes a capacity of doing good is as dangerous and almost ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... But another and more sinister danger threatened him, should he escape drowning. Bobby was ravenously hungry. He had eaten nothing since the hasty luncheon of sea biscuit and pork on the night he and Jimmy parted. He had been terribly hungry ...
— Bobby of the Labrador • Dillon Wallace

... hypnotist's intent. Often this is coupled with telepathic fancies. The hypnotist is believed to have mystic power to bring any person in a distant region under his mental control and thus to be able to carry out any sinister plans by the help of his innocent victim. All hypnotizing therefore ought to be interdicted by the state. The presuppositions of such a view are, as we know now, entirely absurd. We know that hypnotism is not based on any special power of the hypnotizer; there is no ...
— Psychotherapy • Hugo Muensterberg

... somewhat timid character, which, notwithstanding its apparent gentleness, developed an inflexible determination and energy at the right, decisive moment, and then could not be shaken by either threats or entreaties. His external appearance was little calculated to please, nay, was even somewhat sinister, and commanded the respect of others only in moments of excitement, through the fierce blaze of his large blue eyes, that seemed rather to ...
— Queen Hortense - A Life Picture of the Napoleonic Era • L. Muhlbach

... addressed to Frontenac in 1680, La Salle states fully his conviction that Allouez, who was then, he says, among the Miamis, had induced them to send Monso on his sinister errand. See the memoir in Thomassy, Geologie, ...
— France and England in North America, a Series of Historical Narratives, Part Third • Francis Parkman

... when he finally reached Bas-Meudon; and, guided by the flames of the burning debris, he soon found himself on the sinister spot, where he spent the night in a fruitless search for the charred remains of his father among the mass of crushed and burnt flesh piled on the roadside or pinioned in the wreck. Worn out in body and spirits, he returned to Paris at dawn, hoping his father might have been one of the small number ...
— A Cardinal Sin • Eugene Sue

... justice, retained no unpopular servant, and conferred offices on no one who enjoyed not a high character and estimation in the public. "If, notwithstanding this," he adds, "any malignant party shall take heart, and be willing to sacrifice the peace and happiness of their country to their own sinister ends and ambition, under whatever pretence of religion and conscience; if they shall endeavor to lessen my reputation and interest, and to weaken my lawful power and authority; if they shall attempt, by discountenancing the present laws, to loosen the bands of government, that all disorder ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. - From Charles I. to Cromwell • David Hume

... was a long, deadly black mustache with up-curled ends, and when Philo Gubb had donned it he had a most sinister appearance, particularly as he failed to remove the string tag which bore the legend, "Number Eight. Gambler or Card Sharp. Manufactured and Sold by the Rising Sun Detective Agency's Correspondence School of Detecting Supply Bureau." Having put on this mustache, Mr. Gubb took a common splint market-basket ...
— Philo Gubb Correspondence-School Detective • Ellis Parker Butler

... undermine and destroy the economic influence of other nations. Nor was the empire contented with material gain and new-found prestige; Germany abandoned its former policy of concerning itself only with European affairs, and became a sinister and unscrupulous opponent of other great powers in the dangerous game of "world politics." We are not concerned here, however, with this feature of Germany's advance, which is ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8) - Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers • Various

... Morley's lecture on Machiavelli. It will repay any reader from what standpoint soever he may approach the character. "The veering gusts of public judgment have carried incessantly along, from country to country, and from generation to generation, with countless mutations of aspect and of inuendo, the sinister renown of Machiavelli." ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... he was concerned. But he could not shake off the sense of having been badly used. He did not stop to consider that while he was working off his anger, that day, Marie had been rocking back and forth, crying and magnifying the quarrel as she dwelt upon it, and putting a new and sinister meaning into Bud's ill-considered utterances. By the time Bud was thinking only of the bargain car's hidden faults, Marie had reached the white heat of resentment that demanded vigorous action. Marie was packing a suitcase and meditating upon the scorching ...
— Cabin Fever • B. M. Bower

... of the Calle Rivera clattered an unending stream of horsemen, their accoutrements jingling a sinister diapason as they poured helter-skelter across the plaza in the waning moonlight. Tatterdemalion as they were, the ragged army were well-organized as Thode saw at a glance; no haphazard, leaderless crew was this, for at their ...
— The Fifth Ace • Douglas Grant

... looking out upon the square. Of these individuals he who appeared to be the principal stood with his back to the fireplace. He was a tall, stout man, about sixty, dressed in a loose morning gown. The expression of his countenance would have been bluff but for a certain sinister glance, and his complexion might have been called rubicund but for a considerable tinge of bilious yellow. He eyed me askance as I entered. The other, a pale, shrivelled-looking person, sat at a table apparently engaged with an account-book; he took no manner of notice of me, never once ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... they daily increased their offences, most notoriously in the sight of—the world and in so many points that she lacked words to express them in one letter. She however thought it worth while to allude to some of their transgressions. She, declared that their sinister, or rather barbarous interpretation of her conduct had been notorious in perverting and falsifying her princely and Christian intentions; when she imparted to them the overtures that had been made to her for a treaty of peace ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... a stern and criticising eye. He also looks upon life as a picture, but to catch its beauties, its lights,—not its defects and shadows. On the former he loves to dwell. He has a wonderful knack at shutting his eyes to the sinister side of anything. Never beat a more kindly heart than his; alive to the sorrows, but not to the faults, of his friends, but doubly alive to their virtues and goodness. Indeed, people seemed to grow more good with one so unselfish and so gentle." ...
— Widger's Quotations of Charles D. Warner • David Widger

... Wells is an author whose work I have followed with delight, interest and respect for years—since first I read that sinister vision of dead worlds, "The Time Machine." He is a successful craftsman, an artist of power; and has that requisite so often missing in our literary craftsmen and artists—something to say. In his mighty work of ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... settler, as he now stepped over the vessel's side, partook of the mingled cunning and ferocity by which he had formerly been distinguished. While preparations were being made for his reception and security below deck, he bent Ms sinister, yet bold, glance on each of the little group in succession, as if he would have read in their countenances the probable fate that awaited himself. The last who fell under his scrutiny was Miss Montgomerie, on whom his eye had scarcely rested, when the insolent ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... road—the only open exit leading out from Big Shanty being now barred by flame. Worse than all, this barrier of fire had widened so that now two roaring wings of burning timber extended from the very edge of the torrent in a vast semi-circle of flame—sinister and impenetrable—across the compound and far into the woods on the other side. It was as if the last life boat had been launched from a sinking ship, leaving those who ...
— The Lady of Big Shanty • Frank Berkeley Smith

... it like this." The witch laid down her knife and potato, and then poured into Fancy's ear a long and detailed list of directions, glancing up from the corner of her eye into Fancy's face with an expression of sinister humour. Fancy's face brightened, clouded, rose and sank, as the narrative proceeded. "There," said Elizabeth at length, stooping for the knife and another potato, "do that, and you'll have him by-long and ...
— Under the Greenwood Tree • Thomas Hardy

... clerk's look admonished him that his own was extraordinary. He felt that he must seek solitude. To be called by this new and strange name; to have thrust on him the acting of a part in which he knew none of the lines and dared not refuse the character; and all these circumstances made dark and sinister by the mysterious maladjustment of time and place; the possession of another man's property; the haunting fear that in it somewhere were crime and peril—these things, he thought, would drive him out of his senses, unless he could ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... fathers. The last report of the Methodist Missionary Society—1918, openly states the designs of this Church in the matter. "Many of these Ruthenian people are ignorant and degraded; and under the sinister leadership of their priests are resolved to resist all Canadianizing influences. . . . For the Christian Church to act at once is the need of the present hour, if the foreign peoples are to be made Christian citizens of the great West.". This statement is symptomatic of the curious Christianity ...
— Catholic Problems in Western Canada • George Thomas Daly

... the snow outside, that large impending presence embodied all that he and his kind had hated and feared for generations. It embodied among other disturbances the law of change; and to Stephen and his race of pleasant livers the two sinister forces in the universe were change and death. After all, they had made the world, these pleasant livers; and what were those other people—the people represented by that ominous shadow—except the ragged prophets of ...
— One Man in His Time • Ellen Glasgow

... he glanced around him, and a scarcely perceptible smile played upon his lips. One might have sworn that the place was familiar to him, that he was well acquainted with these high grim walls, these grated windows, these heavy doors—in short, with all the sinister belongings ...
— Monsieur Lecoq • Emile Gaboriau

... shallow reefs, which connect the main pile to the rocky steps and terraces of the coast. But woe betide man or beast that diverges many feet from the one secure path! The sands of the great bay have already but too well earned their sinister reputation. ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... the suspicion that this is not by any means the right way to explain the phenomena under discussion. I am of opinion that such depravations of the text were in the first instance intentional. I do not mean that they were introduced with any sinister motive. My meaning is that [there was a desire to remove obscurities, or to reconcile incongruous passages, or generally to improve the style of the authors, and thus to add to the merits of the sacred writings, ...
— The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels • John Burgon

... some public or private act of philanthropy, some noble trait of character. It was the sort of thing which the defense lawyer in the Whately case had been so willing to stipulate. Sidney, of course, tried to make it all out to be part of a sinister conspiracy to establish a Solar League fifth column on New Texas. Finally, ...
— Lone Star Planet • Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire

... to be incredulous as to the sinister intentions of the natives, I thought that possibly Pedro might be induced to believe them. I therefore went in search of him. I told ...
— On the Banks of the Amazon • W.H.G. Kingston

... "false and untrue bills," or distributing some bills for each week before they had been sent to the Lord Mayor; and any brother who "by any cunning device gave away, dispersed, uttered, or declared, or by sinister device cast forth at any window, hole, or crevice of a wall any bills or notes" before the due returns had been sent to the Lord Mayor, was ordered to pay a fine of 10 s. and ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... Mephistopheles-like, gloating on the sinister changes that he would soon occasion. He was to succeed even better than ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... in order not to smile, and took my leave of her, but everything that she foretold has been realized, and I dare not look at that sinister gap which she saw in my line of life, for that gap can ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... Oak Knoll may have its charms, but it was distinctly sinister that December morning. We rang, and after a long pause the front door opened slightly, and a very unprepossessing dog emerged, and shut the door (if I may say so) behind him. We were face to face with this animal, which presented none of ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... "British interests," to send the English fleet to the Baltic, or do some other feat which shall compel Russia to declare war against England. Latterly the rumour has shifted from the Baltic and become still more sinister, on the eastern side of the scene, where a feat is contemplated that will force, not Russia only, but all Europe, to declare war against us. This latter I have come to know as an indisputable fact; in our present affairs and outlooks surely ...
— Thomas Carlyle - Biography • John Nichol

... only occasionally penal enactments; but more frequently, on account of the differences between the two orders, decrees for attaining illegitimate honours and for banishing distinguished citizens, along with other sinister legislation:—"Compositae Duodecim Tabulae, finis aequi juris; nam secutae leges, etsi aliquando in maleficos ex delicto, saepius tamen dissensione ordinum, et apiscendi illicitos honores, aut pellendi claros viros, aliaque ob prava, per vim latae sunt" (III. 27). The statement is about ...
— Tacitus and Bracciolini - The Annals Forged in the XVth Century • John Wilson Ross

... at its best and gayest when the scene of a masquerade. But unfortunately those entertainments had their sinister side. Fielding impeaches them in "Amelia" by their results, and the novelist was not alone in his criticism. The Connoisseur devoted a paper to the evils of those gatherings, deriding them as foreign innovations, and recalling the example of the lady who had proposed ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... sovereignties were in actual existence, whose cordial union was essential to the welfare and happiness of all. Between many of them there was, at least to some extent, a real diversity of interests, liable to be exaggerated through sinister designs; they differed in size, in population, in wealth, and in actual and prospective resources and power; they varied in the character of their industry and staple productions, and [in some] existed domestic institutions which, unwisely disturbed, might ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 2 (of 2) of Volume 3: Martin Van Buren • James D. Richardson

... taste. But what is to be said, on the score of humanity, for an historian who in the nineteenth century calmly and in cold blood defended the use of the rack? Even here Freeman's ingenuity of suggestion did not desert him. After quoting part, and part only, of Froude's sinister apology, he writes, "To all this the answer is very simple. Every time that Elizabeth and her counsellors sent a prisoner to the rack they committed a breach of the law of England." Any one who read this article without reading the History would infer that Froude had maintained the legality, ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... There was a news-vendor's hard by. I bought a paper. As soon as I glanced at it I saw that I was in for a wigging. The political editor, having referred to my Chief as an individual of ill omen, spoke of me too, on the first page, as a sinister creature. But, after Marguerite's kisses, I could not believe it. I felt at once a lightness and a sort of emptiness at ...
— Marguerite - 1921 • Anatole France

... the King. It then appeared that there was still a mystery, and one which it behoved us to clear up; inasmuch as Du Laurens took the cat's death very seriously, insisting that it had died of poison administered in a most sinister fashion, and one that could not fail to recall to our minds the Borgian popes. It needed no more than this to direct my suspicions to the Florentines who swarmed about the Queen, and against whom the King had let drop so many threats. But the indisposition which excitement had for ...
— From the Memoirs of a Minister of France • Stanley Weyman

... Thirty-five, when James Oglethorpe was attracted to that Oxford group of ascetic enthusiasts. The life of Oglethorpe reads like a novel by James Fenimore Cooper. He was of aristocratic birth, born of an Irish mother, with a small bar sinister on his scutcheon that pushed him out and set him apart. He was a graduate of Oxford, and it was on a visit to his Alma Mater that he heard some sarcastic remarks flung off about the Wesleys that seemed to commend them. People hotly ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... MACSTOGGINS, and are we in your debt again?" asked the Agent of a beetle-browed woman of a sinister and forbidding expression, who was thrusting a paper across ...
— Punch Among the Planets • Various

... report had given them—namely, their proneness to assassination, especially in love affairs, either personally, or, more frequently, by deputy. If the brilliant creole and half-caste women of this warm, tropical country, are some of the most beautiful and lovable of the sex, their sallow, sinister-looking, natural protectors are just the very opposite. The singular difference in the moral and physical characteristics of the two sexes is something really remarkable, and I, for one, cannot satisfactorily explain it to my own mind. That such is the case I venture to affirm; the why and the ...
— The Aldine, Vol. 5, No. 1., January, 1872 - A Typographic Art Journal • Various

... passed from Hutter to Hurry, the former appearing disposed to regard the omen as a little sinister, while the latter treated it with his usual reckless disdain. As for the Indian, he was of opinion that the moccasin should be viewed as one would regard a trail in the woods, which might, or might not, equally, ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... Guast's sinister designs, this woman persuaded the King my husband that I was jealous of her, and on that account it was that I joined with my brother. As we are ready to give ear and credit to those we love, he believed all she said. From this time he became distant and ...
— Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe - Marguerite de Valois, Madame de Pompadour, and Catherine de Medici • Various

... as well as among those who were pressing against the grating of the Carrousel. We saw flames issuing from the chimney of the King's apartments, which had been accidentally set on fire by a quantity of papers which had just been burned therein. This accident gave rise to most sinister conjectures, and soon the rumor spread that the Tuileries had been undermined ready for an explosion before the departure of Louis XVIII. A patrol was immediately formed of fifteen men of the National Guard, commanded by a sergeant; ...
— The Private Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Constant

... and sinister.] Ah ...! An' is that so indeed! You don't never mean it!... 'Tis not very appetisin' the way you makes it out. Why was you so hot after ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II • Gerhart Hauptmann

... nation in one great engagement; which, if it proved successful, must be decisive against the king, who had no retreat for his broken troops in those parts; while Leicester himself, in case of any sinister accident, could easily take shelter in the city. To give the better colouring to his cause, he previously sent a message with conditions of peace to Henry, submissive in the language, but exorbitant in the demands [h]; and when the messenger returned with the lie and defiance from the king, ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... either hand, he guided his horse round the jutting spur of rock that masked the opening and rode into the sombre shade of the defile. The change was startling, and he shivered with the sudden chill that seemed so much cooler by contrast with the heat of the plain. Hemmed in by sheer sinister looking cliffs, which were broken at intervals by lateral ravines, the tortuous track led over rough slippery ground sprinkled with huge boulders that made any pace beyond a walk impossible. The horses stumbled continually ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... old man standing by, Subducted his long coat-tails on high, With his back to the fire, as if to dry A part of his dress which the watery sky Had visited rather inclemently.— Blandly he smil'd, but still he look'd sly, And something sinister lurk'd in his eye, Indeed, had you seen him his maritime dress in, You'd have own'd his appearance was not prepossessing; He'd a "dreadnought" coat, and heavy sabots, With thick wooden soles turn'd up at the toes, His nether man cased in a striped quelque chose, And a hump on his back, and a great ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... or a cork in a flask. But when we reflect on the constant mingling of Gipsies with prizefighters, it is almost evident that the word BONGO may have been the origin of it. A bongo yakko or yak, means a distorted, crooked, or, in fact, a bunged eye. It also means lame, crooked, or sinister, and by a very singular figure of speech, Bongo Tem or the Crooked Land is the name ...
— The English Gipsies and Their Language • Charles G. Leland

... France had grilles of brass wire put in the windows of his library in the Louvre, to preserve the books from the attacks of 'birds and other beasts.' The document recording the payment for this work makes the sinister remark that the books were in the tower 'devers la Fauconnerie.' Precisely what the clerk of the works thought we shall never know; possibly he pictured a goshawk pouncing upon the 'veluyau ynde' ...
— The Book-Hunter at Home • P. B. M. Allan

... adventurer captain was not blind to these sinister omens. No sooner did the peculiar atmosphere by which the mysterious image that he so often examined was suddenly surrounded, catch his eye, than his voice was raised in the clear, powerful, and ...
— Great Sea Stories • Various

... parts a sinister chasm, * a grisly jaw, whose verges soon, Slowly and ominously filled * by the on-coming plenilune, Supportlessly congest with fire, * and ...
— Poems • Francis Thompson

... stood hesitating, I took in his appearance by a brief glance. He was tall, slim and wiry, with tawny yellow hair worn long, and thick, drooping mustache. His eyes were of a cold steel-blue, and his face, though very handsome, had something sinister and fierce about it. From his attire I judged him at once to be a polished man of the world, who had seen other lands than the Canadas. He wore a lace-trimmed coat of buff, breeches of the same material, top boots of tanned buckskin, and abroad felt ...
— The Cryptogram - A Story of Northwest Canada • William Murray Graydon

... a state of abject terror. All through that journey, from Paris to Lausanne, from Lausanne to Visp, from Visp to Zermatt, horror of the Matterhorn hung over me like a pall. I even found something sinister in little Zermatt when we got there—Zermatt that now I love so, with the rushing, icy river, the cheerful smell of wood smoke, the goats that in the early morning wake one with the tinkle-tinkle of the bells through the street, and the quiet-eyed ...
— Olivia in India • O. Douglas

... sidled up to Democrates was all but a hunchback. His bare arms were grotesquely tattooed, clear sign that he was a Thracian. His eyes twinkled keenly, uneasily, as in token of an almost sinister intelligence. What he whispered to Democrates escaped the rest, but the latter began ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... rarely took place in Palestine, where in the middle of April the sky was usually clear, it assumed, in the eyes of the Jews and Christians, an importance conformable to the received notion, that the sun concealed at midday was a sinister presage. See Amos viii. 9, 10. The word is often taken in this sense by contemporary writers; the Apocalypse says the sun was concealed, when speaking of an obscuration caused by smoke and dust. (Revel. ix. 2.) Moreover, the Hebrew word ophal, ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... wide leather band and a bright buckle, and the ends of his moustache were twisted up stiffly, like little horns. He looked lively and ferocious, I thought, and as if he had a history. A long scar ran across one cheek and drew the corner of his mouth up in a sinister curl. The top of his left ear was gone, and his skin was brown as an Indian's. Surely this was the face of a desperado. As he walked about the platform in his high-heeled boots, looking for our trunks, I saw that he was a rather slight man, quick ...
— My Antonia • Willa Cather

... Soolsby's presence: "As the East is from the West, so were we separate from these lovers of this world, the self-indulgent, the hard-hearted, the proud. I chose for the child that he should stay with me and not go to him, to remain among his own people and his own class. He was a sinister, an evil man. Was the child to be trusted ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... black oak frames. On the mantelpiece was a collection of carved ivory toys of all kinds, with here and there an ebony elephant from Ceylon or Assam. The paint on doors and windows was black, yet in spite of the sombreness of the general scheme there was nothing depressing, nothing sinister in the finished effect. ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... said Barrington. "It may be that this man was not such a friend to the woman as we have imagined. He may have had sinister designs in bringing her ...
— The Light That Lures • Percy Brebner

... believe Gibson's moves were as sinister as Brennan viewed them. There were times when, under Brennan's logic, he ...
— Spring Street - A Story of Los Angeles • James H. Richardson

... to trashy or corrupt books, they cannot be surprised if their children give heart-room to "the world, the flesh, and the evil one." When interesting and profitable books are so abundant and so cheap, this increasing rage for novels is to me one of the sinister ...
— Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography • Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

... adventurers set out for Monte Carlo, taking only their hand-luggage. More tunnels. A compartment filled with women and children. And hot besides. But the incomparable beauty of the Riviera was a compensation. Ventimiglia, or Vintimille, has a sinister sound in the ears of the traveler, if perchance he be a man fond of his tobacco. A turbulent stream cuts the town in two. On the east side stands a gloomy barn of a station; on the other side one of the most ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... the forest, low down under the horizon's rim, came the sullen note of a great gun—a dull, sinister sound that seemed to roll across the Wilderness and hang over the log house and ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... home after dinner and read 'The dream of Gerontius.' I love lentils and cold water. At other times I must drink absinthe, and hang the night hours with scarlet embroideries. I must have music, and the sins that march to music. There are moments when I desire squalor, sinister, mean surroundings, dreariness, and misery. The great unwashed mood is upon me. Then I go out from luxury. The mind has its West End and its Whitechapel. The thoughts sit in the Park sometimes, but sometimes ...
— The Green Carnation • Robert Smythe Hichens

... tribal, sept, and clan systems were devised solely to prevent international decadence and fraternal strife; their secret societies were not sinister; their festivals and dances not immodest; their priesthood not ignoble. They were sedentary and metropolitan people—dwellers in towns—not nomads; they had cattle and fowls, orchards and grain-fields, gardens for vegetables, corrals for breeding stock. They had many towns—some even of two hundred ...
— The Hidden Children • Robert W. Chambers

... no man's son," replied Amedee de Soulas. "If he wishes to bear the arms of the Savarons of Savarus, he must add a bar-sinister. There is no one left of the Brabant family but a Mademoiselle de Savarus, a ...
— Albert Savarus • Honore de Balzac

... a gray-white mud that clung moistly to their overcoats, or, fully dry, colored every part of the uniform with its powder. One saw men that appeared to have rolled over and over in a puddle bath of this whitish mud, and sometimes there was seen a sinister mixture of blood and mire. There is nothing romantic about a wounded soldier, for his condition brings a special emphasis on our human relation to ordinary meat. Dirty, exhausted, unshaven, smelling of the trenches, of his wounds, and of the antiseptics ...
— A Volunteer Poilu • Henry Sheahan

... scattered hither and thither about the decks. There was a cask lying on its bilge, its head knocked out, and perhaps a gallon or so of port wine still in it, while all round about it the deck was dark, wet, and reeking with the fumes of the spilt wine. But there were other and more sinister stains than those of wine on the planks—there were great splashes of blood here and there on bulwarks and deck, much of which was partially hidden by the scattered cargo; but the scene was not nearly so sanguinary or revolting as I had expected to find it, for there were no ensanguined, ...
— A Middy of the King - A Romance of the Old British Navy • Harry Collingwood

... crests of the two rocky heights are sinister sentinels whose smooth, grey walls and towers rise sheer from the brink of the cliffs. The moonlight now catching the ramparts of the em-battlements splashes them with strokes of white that seem ever brighter ...
— "And they thought we wouldn't fight" • Floyd Gibbons

... wrong, sir?" stammered Brisson, to whose frightened eyes those three dark figures huddled in his doorway appeared most sinister. "What is ...
— The Destroyer - A Tale of International Intrigue • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... conuenient. Howbeit (most gracious prince and lord) we are to sollicite your Highnesse, not onely about the articles to be propounded concerning the losses aforesaide, but more principally, for certain sinister reports and superstituous slanders, wherwith certaine of your subiects, not seeking for peace, haue falsly informed your maiesty, and your most honorable and discreete Councel: affirming that at the time of the aforesaid arrest your marchants ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, - and Discoveries of The English Nation, v5 - Central and Southern Europe • Richard Hakluyt

... not altogether like the style of the fellow," he muttered to himself. "He is good-looking enough, certainly; but there was an impudent, sinister expression about his countenance which one does not observe in that of an honest man. I wonder, too, what right he has to the title of prince. There are some few chiefs in Greece, who call themselves princes, but they are very ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... however, a faint embarrassed flush would sometimes overspread her pretty youthful countenance. From the fugitive glances which she now and then intercepted between the two, the invalid foresaw the most sinister results. ...
— 'Jena' or 'Sedan'? • Franz Beyerlein

... rash challenge had consequences merely dreadful; the wretched volumes, imperturbable and impeccable, with their shyer secrets and their second line of defence, were like a beautiful woman more denuded or a great symphony on a new hearing. There was something quite sinister in the way they stood up to me. I couldn't however be dumb—that was to give the wrong tinge to my disappointment; so that later in the afternoon, taking my courage in both hands, I approached with a vain tortuosity poor Limbert's door. A smart victoria waited before it ...
— Embarrassments • Henry James

... his first book of poems, published in 1821, he included translations from Byron, in reviewing which Immermann pointed out[250] that while Heine's poems showed a superficial resemblance to those of Byron, the temperament of the former was far removed from the sinister scorn of the English lord, that it was in fact much more cheerful and enamored of life.[251] There is plenty of evidence, however, to show that it was exceedingly gratifying to the young Heine to have his name associated ...
— Types of Weltschmerz in German Poetry • Wilhelm Alfred Braun

... is divided by a cross, on the lower arm of which is a figure of the Savior; over his head is a shield, divided per pale, between two crystal settings; on the dexter is a hand holding a scourge or whip of three thongs, and on a chief a ring; on the sinister, on a chief the same charge and three crucifixion nails. In the first compartment, or quarter of the cross, are representations of St. Columbkill, St. Bridget, and St. Patrick. In the second, a ...
— The Hedge School; The Midnight Mass; The Donagh • William Carleton



Words linked to "Sinister" :   alarming, black, evil, ominous, heraldry, oculus sinister, dark, minacious, bend sinister, menacing, bar sinister, forbidding, baleful, minatory



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