- an indication or omen of something about to happen, especially something momentous.
- threatening or disquieting significance: an occurrence of dire portent.
- a prodigy or marvel.
Origin of portent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for portent
At times, it seemed Leonard was awaiting a portent or an omen.The Stacks: How Leonard Chess Helped Make Muddy Waters
August 2, 2014
Is this a passing phase or a portent of something more serious?Fascism Is Fashionable Again in Europe
June 8, 2014
As the great commentator, the Ramban, teaches, “everything that happened to the Patriarchs is a portent for the children.”The Vulnerability of American Rabbis
Rabbi Jonah Geffen
November 8, 2013
Online activity is not therefore a portent of offline activity.Did Tamerlan ‘Self-Radicalize’?
April 25, 2013
Lapid is the first politician to emerge from this politics and is in any case a portent of things to come.Yair Lapid's Historic Opportunity
January 24, 2013
It was the hush of portent, the hush of watchfulness, the hush of a threatening tension.The Law-Breakers
They had him, but it was like getting hold of an apparition, a wraith, a portent.Lord Jim
The silence without was only portent of the storm so soon to burst.Warrior Gap
It was because he was a failure in literature that he became a portent in English history.The Napoleon of Notting Hill
Gilbert K. Chesterton
And, try as I might, I felt it to be a portent and a prophecy.Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison
Austin Biron Bidwell
- a sign or indication of a future event, esp a momentous or calamitous one; omen
- momentous or ominous significancea cry of dire portent
- a miraculous occurrence; marvel
Word Origin and History for portent
1560s, from Middle French portente, from Latin portentum "a sign, token, omen; monster, monstrosity," noun use of neuter of portentus, past participle of portendre (see portend).