[ pawr-tend, pohr- ]
See synonyms for: portendportendedportendingportends on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to indicate in advance; to foreshadow or presage, as an omen does: The street incident may portend a general uprising.

  2. to signify; mean.

Origin of portend

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin portendere “to point out, indicate, portend,” variant of prōtendere “to extend”; see pro-1, tend1

Other words for portend

Other words from portend

  • un·por·tend·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with portend

Words Nearby portend

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use portend in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for portend


/ (pɔːˈtɛnd) /

  1. to give warning of; predict or foreshadow

  2. obsolete to indicate or signify; mean

Origin of 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