portent

[pawr-tent, pohr-]
See more synonyms for portent on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. an indication or omen of something about to happen, especially something momentous.
  2. threatening or disquieting significance: an occurrence of dire portent.
  3. a prodigy or marvel.

Origin of portent

1555–65; < Latin portentum sign, token, noun use of neuter of portentus, past participle of portendere to portend

Synonyms for portent

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1. augury, warning. See sign. 2. import.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for portent

Contemporary Examples of portent

Historical Examples of portent

  • It was the hush of portent, the hush of watchfulness, the hush of a threatening tension.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • They had him, but it was like getting hold of an apparition, a wraith, a portent.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • The silence without was only portent of the storm so soon to burst.

    Warrior Gap

    Charles King

  • It was because he was a failure in literature that he became a portent in English history.

    The Napoleon of Notting Hill

    Gilbert K. Chesterton

  • And, try as I might, I felt it to be a portent and a prophecy.


British Dictionary definitions for portent

portent

noun
  1. a sign or indication of a future event, esp a momentous or calamitous one; omen
  2. momentous or ominous significancea cry of dire portent
  3. a miraculous occurrence; marvel

Word Origin for portent

C16: from Latin portentum sign, omen, from portendere to portend
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 portent
n.

1560s, from Middle French portente, from Latin portentum "a sign, token, omen; monster, monstrosity," noun use of neuter of portentus, past participle of portendre (see portend).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper