- portending evil or harm; foreboding; threatening; inauspicious: an ominous bank of dark clouds.
- indicating the nature of a future event, for good or evil; having the significance of an omen; being a portent: Some of these events were immediately ominous, while others only later revealed themselves as such.
Origin of ominous
SynonymsSee more synonyms for ominous on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ominous
In the back of my mind I was wondering how much time we had before there might be an ominous knock at the door.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind
December 19, 2014
In The Lodger an ominous character paced the floor, which Hitchcock constructed of glass.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
He wrote that he deserved to die and alluded to a ominous plan that he had backed out of twice already.School Shooters Love This Pickup Artist Website
December 5, 2014
The drumbeat and synth bass are as insistent as they are ominous.Is Bigger Better for St. Vincent?
December 4, 2014
“Wars of enormous consequence are fought in places that have no value to anyone,” Burke said with an ominous tone.James Lee Burke Talks About His Fiction, History, and the American Dream
July 20, 2014
The spectacle as night fell was strange, ominous, but not unpicturesque.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
It seemed an extraordinary thing, an ominous object, a sign.The Secret Agent
At this ominous sight, I instinctively seized the bitts for protection.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
This made all the inhabitants of that melancholy and ominous apartment.Leila, Complete
An ominous leave-taking was his, and calamity was there to greet him home again.Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew
Josephine Preston Peabody
- foreboding evil
- serving as or having significance as an omen
Word Origin and History for ominous
1580s, from Latin ominosus "full of foreboding," from omen (genitive ominis) "foreboding" (see omen). Related: Ominousness.