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Definition evil or harmful; or making an evil or frightening impression

Much more rarely and only in very old usage, sinister can refer to the left side of something.
  • They created a sinister plan to recruit terrorists.
sinister = evil
  • In the movie, there was a sinister plot to kill people and harvest their organs.
  • sinister = evil
  • The storm clouds look sinister.
  • Speaking quietly so that no one else would hear, Harry told the other two about Snape's sudden, sinister desire to be a Quidditch referee.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • sinister = threatening
  • And with this doubt, his whole statement fell to pieces, and I wondered if there wasn't something a little sinister about him, after all.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • sinister = foreshadowing bad things
  • I lived at West Egg, the — well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • sinister = foreshadowing harm
  • I could see nothing sinister about him.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • sinister = evil or frightening
  • For all I knew he was going to rob the house in a moment; I wouldn't have been surprised to see sinister faces, the faces of "Wolfshiem's people," behind him in the dark shrubbery.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • sinister = frightening
  • You looked as if you were bent on some sinister errand, and after you had left me I wondered whether I ought to have let you go.
    Henry James  --  The American
  • He fought against the Shade's sinister thoughts, weakly at first, then more strongly.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • At night, the cooking fires of squatters living in it gave the structure a sinister jack-o-lantern glow.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • Police cars and sinister-looking black vans blocked the curbs all around us.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Red Pyramid
  • "It looks pretty sinister," he said.
    John Howard Griffin  --  Black Like Me
  • Thin-Face dashed into the room, his face lit with a sinister smile of victory.
    Ji-Li Jiang  --  Red Scarf Girl
  • It seemed strange, almost sinister, to see the U.S. coast marked in Russian.
    Tom Clancy  --  The Hunt for Red October
  • Because the faint light of the ship was behind him, his face was hidden in shadow, but there was something sinister about it.
    James Dashner  --  The Kill Order
  • I feel a thread tugging me again, but this time I know that it isn't some sinister force dragging me toward death.
    Veronica Roth  --  Allegiant
  • When he saw it first, it was a dull and almost sinister red, with a few faint markings near its crown that he could not dearly distinguish.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood's End
  • 'As I stared at this sinister apparition crawling towards me, I felt a tickling on my cheek as though a fly had lighted there.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Time Machine
  • Simple motives took on sinister colors.
    Richard Wright  --  Black Boy

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