Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A cause of harm, ruin, or death.
  • noun A source of persistent annoyance or exasperation.
  • noun Fatal injury or ruin.
  • noun A deadly poison.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A slayer or murderer; a worker of death, as a man or an animal.
  • noun That which causes death or destroys life; especially, poison of a deadly quality.
  • noun Hence Any fatal cause of mischief, injury, or destruction: as, vice is the bane of society.
  • noun Ruin; destruction.
  • noun Death: usually with such verbs as catch, get, take: as, to catch one's bane.
  • noun A disease in sheep, more commonly called the rot.
  • noun Scotch form of bone.
  • An obsolete form of bain.
  • An obsolete form of bain.
  • noun An obsolete form of ban, especially in plural banes, now banns (which see).
  • To kill; poison.
  • To injure; ruin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To be the bane of; to ruin.
  • noun Obs. except in combination, as in ratsbane, henbane, etc. That which destroys life, esp. poison of a deadly quality.
  • noun obsolete Destruction; death.
  • noun Any cause of ruin, or lasting injury; harm; woe.
  • noun A disease in sheep, commonly termed the rot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A bone
  • noun A cause of misery or death; an affliction or curse
  • noun obsolete A killer, murderer, slayer
  • noun dated Poison, especially any of several poisonous plants
  • verb transitive To kill, especially by poison; to be the poison of.
  • verb transitive To be the bane of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun something causing misery or death

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, destroyer, from Old English bana; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English northern dialect ban, from Old English bān

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old English bana; akin to Old High German bano ("death").

Examples

  • Consider This: Unless people are aware of its Hawaiian origins, this name will evoke the word bane and all its negative associations.

    5-Star Baby Name Advisor

  • Consider This: Unless people are aware of its Hawaiian origins, this name will evoke the word bane and all its negative associations.

    5-Star Baby Name Advisor

  • He'd never heard anyone use the word "bane" correctly in a sentence before.

    Someone Like Me

  • Anyway, it got me thinking about my sister who I often describe as the bane of my existence.

    lorenjavier.com

  • Laftly, he declared his hatred to the tribunes, whom he called the bane of the public happinefs « '.

    An universal history, from the earliest accounts to the present time

  • It may be inevitable (or not), but whether it’s a boon or a bane is very much a question.

    You’re Not Buying Gadgets, You Are Subscribing to Them - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Every girl’s bane is no longer an issue with Avon’s innovative Instant Manicure nail polish.

    Give the Gift of Beauty

  • Every girl’s bane is no longer an issue with Avon’s innovative Instant Manicure nail polish.

    Avon for the Holidays

  • His bane was a morbid temperament, which he could no more help than his sallow face and weedy person; even his vanity was directly traceable to the early influence of an eccentric and feckless father with experimental ideas on the upbringing of a child.

    Stingaree

  • Imitation has been called the bane of originality; suppress it as a factor, and nine-tenths of living painters, sculptors, etchers would have to shut up shop.

    Promenades of an Impressionist

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