(sn"s*tr; 277), a. [Accented on the middle syllable by the older poets, as Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden.] [L. sinister: cf. F. sinistre.] 1. On the left hand, or the side of the left hand; left; -- opposed to dexter, or right. "Here on his sinister cheek." Shak.
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My mother's blood
Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
Bounds in my father's
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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.
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2. Unlucky; inauspicious; disastrous; injurious; evil; -- the left being usually regarded as the unlucky side; as, sinister influences.
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All the several ills that visit earth,
Brought forth by night, with a sinister birth.
B. Jonson.
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3. Wrong, as springing from indirection or obliquity; perverse; dishonest; corrupt; as, sinister aims.
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Nimble and sinister tricks and shifts.
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He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts.
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He read in their looks . . . sinister intentions directed particularly toward himself.
Sir W. Scott.
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4. Indicative of lurking evil or harm; boding covert danger; as, a sinister countenance.
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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.
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Mon 21st September 2020