verb (used with object), bod·ed, bod·ing.

to be an omen of; portend: The news bodes evil days for him.
Archaic. to announce beforehand; predict.

verb (used without object), bod·ed, bod·ing.

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




a simple past tense of bide. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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




to be an omen of (good or ill, esp of ill); portend; presage
(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




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