- of the nature of a portent; momentous.
- ominously significant or indicative: a portentous defeat.
- marvelous; amazing; prodigious.
Origin of portentous
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for portentous
As such, there is a portentous quality here that can occasionally get in its own way.Short Stories From the New China
November 19, 2014
Little moments are portentous of grand sweeping changes, and big, dramatic moments are meaningless to all but the few involved.Dudes and Maudes Abide at New York City Lebowski Fest
August 25, 2014
These portentous rumblings aside, no coherent position on ectogenesis has emerged so far within the pro-life movement.The Artificial Womb Will Change Feminism Forever
August 12, 2014
Behind these macho moves lie some pretty dramatic and portentous policy decisions.Leslie H. Gelb: North Korea, U.S. Headed to Brink of War, Unnoticed
Leslie H. Gelb
April 1, 2012
“This is not meant to be pompous, portentous museum entertainment,” Branagh says.The Yes List: The Nerdy Secret Behind Thor
The Daily Beast
May 6, 2011
Naming him was a portentous proceeding and one not to be lightly gone about.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
I was as a man sapped of all strength by some portentous struggle.The Strolling Saint
He delivered himself of this long speech with an air of portentous gravity.The Dominant Strain
Anna Chapin Ray
The most portentous crisis in the history of the human family has just passed.Buffalo Bill's Spy Trailer
Colonel Prentiss Ingraham
Therefore he drew him aside in a manner as portentous and ingratiating as he could make it.The Golden Woman
- of momentous or ominous significance
- miraculous, amazing, or awe-inspiring; prodigious
- self-important or pompous
Word Origin and History for portentous
1540s, from Latin portentosus "monstrous, marvelous, threatening," from portentem "portent" (see portend). Related: Portentously.