Ill wind


      • negative consequences
        Refers to a situation or event that brings about negative effects or results

      • discourage someone
        Advise against engaging in a particular activity or task, cautioning that it will not result in any positive outcome or benefit

    Examples of Ill wind

    • The stock market began to plummet just as the news of a major economic downturn spread. The investors knew that this ill wind would not only affect the stock market but also the economy as a whole.

      This idiom, "ill wind", refers to an unfavorable or unpleasant event that brings about negative consequences. In this example, the bad news has triggered a negative chain reaction, which has led to a falling stock market, and potentially, wider economic issues.

    • She was hesitant to accept her friend's invitation because the eerie weather forecast suggested that an ill wind was approaching.

      This idiom can also be used to warn about an impending danger or negative event. In this example, the friend's decision to cancel or decline the invitation can be attributed to the forecast predicting rough weather or negative circumstances.

    • The recent policies implemented by the ruling party have not only caused discontent among the people but also an ill wind in the political landscape.

      This idiom can be employed to express the negative impact of a decision or action undertaken by an individual or a group. Here, the policies have brought about negative consequences that have affected the political environment.

    • After the CEO's decision to lay off employees, the news soon spread like an ill wind.

      This idiom is used to describe how bad news travels quickly and spreads rapidly. In this case, the CEO's decision has not only affected the employees who have lost their jobs but also created a negative impact on the company's reputation and overall work environment.

    • The storm that had been forecast for the day of the outdoor festival finally hit, bringing with it strong winds that threatened to tear down the stage and tents. As the festivalgoers huddled under their umbrellas and waited for the worst to pass, they couldn't help but think that an ill wind had indeed blown their way.

      The phrase "an ill wind" refers to an event or situation that brings about negative consequences or unfavorable circumstances. In this example, the sudden and unexpected storm with strong winds that had blown in was a negative event that disrupted the festival and potentially caused damage to the festival grounds.

    • The company's stocks had been on a downward spiral for months, and many of their investors were starting to feel uneasy about the future of the business. The CEO's announcement that a major client had suddenly withdrawn from their contract only served to confirm their fears, and they grumbled that an ill wind seemed to be blowing through the corridors of power.

      This example uses "an ill wind" to describe the sense of danger or uncertainty that was pervading the company. The sudden departure of a major client was a negative event that brought about further uncertainty and potentially more negative consequences for the company's future.

    • As the political landscape shifted and became increasingly volatile, many voters found themselves questioning whether their chosen representatives were still able to serve their best interests. Some began to speak out against their leaders, calling for new blood and fresh perspectives to come forward. In the midst of all this upheaval, some joked that an ill wind seemed to be blowing through the halls of power, and only time would tell whether the winds of change would bring fortune or misfortune.

      This example uses "an ill wind" to describe the sense of uncertainty and potential danger that was associated with the political climate. As voters began to question the ability of their leaders to serve their best interests, it was clear that something needed to change. However, it was also clear that change could bring about both positive and negative consequences, and it was uncertain which direction the winds of change would ultimately blow.

    • The young couple had been deeply in love, but as they stood before the altar, they couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. As the vicar pronounced them man and wife, a gust of wind whistled through the church, causing the candles to flicker ominously. The couple exchanged uneasy glances and whispered that an ill wind seemed to be blowing through the church, and they wondered whether it was a sign that their marriage would not last.

      This example uses "an ill wind" to describe the sense of unease or foreboding that was present during the wedding ceremony. The sudden gust of wind, which caused the candles to flicker, was a negative event that seemed to foreshadow something ominous or unsettling. The couple's uneasy glances and whispered comments were a reflection of their fears that something was not quite right about their marriage, and they wondered whether the winds of change that were blowing through their lives would bring fortune or misfortune.


    The idiom "ill wind" is used to describe a situation or event that brings about negative consequences. It can also be used to advise against engaging in a particular activity or task, cautioning that it will not result in any positive outcome or benefit.

    Origin of "Ill wind"

    The origin of the idiom "ill wind" can be traced back to the 16th century. The use of "ill" to mean something harmful or unfavorable dates back even further, to Old English. The phrase "ill wind" is a metaphor, comparing negative outcomes to the destructive force of a strong wind. It has been used in literature and everyday language to convey the idea of unfortunate events or circumstances. For example, in Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar," the character Cassius says, "In such a time as this it is not meet That every nice offense should bear his comment. / Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself / Are much condemned to have an itching palm, / To sell and mart your offices for gold / To undeservers. I an itching palm? / You know that you are Brutus that speak this, / Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last. / The name of Cassius honors this corruption, / And chastisement doth therefore hide his head. / Chastisement! / Remember March, the Ides of March remember. / Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake? / What villain touched his body, that did stab, / And not for justice? What, shall one of us / That struck the foremost man of all this world / But for supporting robbers, shall we now / Contaminate our fingers with base bribes, / And sell the mighty space of our large honors / For so much trash as may be grasped thus? / I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, / Than such a Roman."