Bane



a person or thing that ruins or spoils:
Gambling was the bane of his existence.
a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants):
wolfsbane; henbane.
death; destruction; ruin.
Obsolete. that which causes death or destroys life:
entrapped and drowned beneath the watery bane.
Contemporary Examples

Bigness is the bane of any creative or responsive activity, and publishing is no exception.
5 Ways to Fix Book Publishing Anis Shivani July 11, 2013

The agenda is likely to focus on Syria, which has been a bane to the pope since taking office last March.
Putin to Meet Pope Francis in Rome Barbie Latza Nadeau November 24, 2013

Conversely, the law is the bane of criminal defense lawyers.
The Casey Anthony Circus Begins Diane Dimond May 4, 2011

Because of its addictive nature and physical effects, bane has it constantly injected into the base of his neck via a mask.
Explainer: The Weak Link Between Former Bain Man Mitt Romney and Batman Bad Man Bane Sarah Hedgecock July 18, 2012

The bane of my existence is the synopses that publishers request for a new novel or series.
Michelle Gagnon’s How I Write Interview: When I Was a Russian Supper-Club Dancer Noah Charney September 4, 2012

Historical Examples

But his fiery temper oft proved his bane, and in the end it led him to ruin and death.
Half a Hundred Hero Tales Various

Outsiders are the bane of the police as of other professions.
The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad

If they bane twice so big this year, they be full now from the snows and rains.
Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl

These garments, made by my mother’s own hands, had long been the bane of my existence.
In the Valley Harold Frederic

I have ever been of opinion that the policy pursued by England towards this country has been the bane of its happiness.
Valentine M’Clutchy, The Irish Agent William Carleton

noun
a person or thing that causes misery or distress (esp in the phrase bane of one’s life)
something that causes death or destruction

a fatal poison
(in combination): ratsbane

(archaic) ruin or distress
noun
a Scot word for bone
n.

Old English bana “killer, slayer, murderer; the devil,” from Proto-Germanic *banon, cognate with *banja- “wound” (cf. Old Frisian bona “murderer,” Old Norse bani, Old High German bana “murder,” Old English benn “wound,” Gothic banja “stroke, wound”), from PIE root *gwhen- “to strike, kill, wound” (cf. Avestan banta “ill”). Modern sense of “that which causes ruin or woe” is from 1570s.

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