- to indicate in advance; to foreshadow or presage, as an omen does: The street incident may portend a general uprising.
- to signify; mean.
Origin of portend
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. foretell, forecast, augur, promise, forebode.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for portend
Could the retirement of Rep. Tom Latham, a close friend, portend the exit of Speaker John Boehner as well?Latham’s Retirement Spurs Boehner Rumors
December 17, 2013
A look at the most bizarre metrics used to portend the winner of the presidential election.Strangest Presidential Election Predictors: 7-Eleven Coffee Cups & More
October 4, 2012
Well, the polls have started to come, and they portend total disaster.Michael Tomasky on the GOP’s Self-Delusion Syndrome
September 27, 2012
The even bigger question, of course, is whether unity will portend not peace but war?October Surprise?
May 8, 2012
It was one of those mornings in summer which portend a thunderstorm and great heat.The Christian
What could it portend but that the effects of the poison were passing off and that she was recovering?The Shame of Motley
Atlee watched her, by no means certain what her gesture might portend.Lord Kilgobbin
A plan was devised to find out what this extravagance of candle might portend.Gilian The Dreamer
What did it portend that Mrs. Stannard should have cut Mr. Gleason dead?Marion's Faith.
- to give warning of; predict or foreshadow
- obsolete to indicate or signify; mean
C15: from Latin portendere to indicate, foretell; related to prōtendere to stretch out
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for portend
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper