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ominous

[ om-uh-nuhs ]
/ ˈɒm ə nəs /
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adjective
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.
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Origin of ominous

First recorded in 1580–90; from Latin ōminōsus “portentous,” equivalent to ōmin- (stem of ōmen ) + -ōsus; see origin at omen, -ous

synonym study for ominous

Ominous, portentous, threatening, menacing, fateful are adjectives describing that which forebodes a serious, significant, and often harmful outcome. Ominous, derived from omen “a predictor of outcomes,” usually suggests evil or damaging eventualities: ominous storm clouds; an ominous silence. Portentous, although it may suggest evil results, often stresses a momentous or very important outcome: a portentous moment in history; a portentous escalation of hostilities. Threatening may suggest calamity or great harm but sometimes mere unpleasantness: a threatening rumble from the volcano; A threatening look from his brother caused him to quickly change the subject. Menacing always suggests serious damage as an outcome: He advanced with a menacing swagger. Fateful most often stresses the great or decisive importance of what it describes: a fateful encounter between two future leaders; a fateful day that changed our world.

OTHER WORDS FROM ominous

Words nearby ominous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ominous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ominous

ominous
/ (ˈɒmɪnəs) /

adjective
foreboding evil
serving as or having significance as an omen

Derived forms of ominous

ominously, adverbominousness, noun

Word Origin for ominous

C16: from Latin ōminōsus, from omen
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
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