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portent

[ pawr-tent, pohr- ]
/ ˈpɔr tɛnt, ˈpoʊr- /
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noun

an indication or omen of something about to happen, especially something momentous.
threatening or disquieting significance: an occurrence of dire portent.
a prodigy or marvel.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of portent

First recorded in 1555–65; from Latin portentum “sign, token,” noun use of neuter of portentus, past participle of portendere “to signify, presage, portend”; see portend

synonym study for portent

1. See sign.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for portent

British Dictionary definitions for portent

portent
/ (ˈpɔːtɛnt) /

noun

a sign or indication of a future event, esp a momentous or calamitous one; omen
momentous or ominous significancea cry of dire portent
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
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