[ pawr-tend, pohr- ]
/ pɔrˈtɛnd, poʊr- /

verb (used with object)

to indicate in advance; to foreshadow or presage, as an omen does: The street incident may portend a general uprising.
to signify; mean.

Origin of portend

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin portendere to point out, indicate, portend, variant of prōtendere to extend. See pro-1, tend1

Related forms

un·por·tend·ed, adjective

Can be confused

portend pretend (see synonym study at pretend)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for portend

British Dictionary definitions for portend


/ (pɔːˈtɛnd) /

verb (tr)

to give warning of; predict or foreshadow
obsolete to indicate or signify; mean

Word Origin for portend

C15: from Latin portendere to indicate, foretell; related to prōtendere to stretch out
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