verb (used with object), bod·ed, bod·ing.
  1. to be an omen of; portend: The news bodes evil days for him.
  2. Archaic. to announce beforehand; predict.
verb (used without object), bod·ed, bod·ing.
  1. to portend: The news bodes well for him.

Origin of bode

before 1000; Middle English boden, Old English bodian to announce, foretell (cognate with Old Norse botha), derivative of boda messenger, cognate with German Bote, Old Norse bothi


  1. a simple past tense of bide. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for boded

Historical Examples of boded

  • And she watched him with an evil, staring eye that boded nothing good.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • He foresaw the coming struggle, and boded ill of its result.

    Tony Butler

    Charles James Lever

  • The burgomaster wore an air of sternness and self-importance which boded no good.


    Talbot Baines Reed

  • I could not help feeling that our being there boded no good to me.

    My Bondage and My Freedom

    Frederick Douglass

  • It was a combination, in these times of evil rumor, that boded no good.

    The Cryptogram

    William Murray Graydon

British Dictionary definitions for boded


  1. to be an omen of (good or ill, esp of ill); portend; presage
  2. (tr) archaic to predict; foretell
Derived Formsboding, noun, adjectivebodement, noun

Word Origin for bode

Old English bodian; related to Old Norse botha to proclaim, Old Frisian bodia to invite


  1. the past tense of bide
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 boded



Old English bodian "proclaim, announce; foretell," from boda "messenger," probably from Proto-Germanic *budon- (cf. Old Saxon gibod, German gebot, Old Norse boð), from PIE *bheudh- "be aware, make aware" (see bid (v.)). As a shortened form of forebode (usually evil), it dates from 1740. Related: Boded; boding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper