[ bih-toh-kuh n ]
/ bɪˈtoʊ kən /

verb (used with object)

to give evidence of; indicate: to betoken one's fidelity with a vow; a kiss that betokens one's affection.
to be or give a token or sign of; portend: a thunderclap that betokens foul weather; an angry word that betokens hostility.

Nearby words

  1. bethune, mary mcleod,
  2. betide,
  3. betimes,
  4. betjeman,
  5. betjeman, sir john,
  6. betony,
  7. betook,
  8. betray,
  9. betrayal,
  10. betrayer

Origin of betoken

First recorded in 1125–75, betoken is from the Middle English word bitocnen, bitacnen. See be-, token Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for betoken

British Dictionary definitions for betoken


/ (bɪˈtəʊkən) /

verb (tr)

to indicate; signifyblack clothes betoken mourning
to portend; augur
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 betoken



late 12c., from be- + Old English tacnian "to signify," from tacn "sign" (see token). Related: Betokened; betokening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper