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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use portent in a sentence
Instead, the book seems to grapple with the question of how humanity deals with horrifying, large-scale change—and particularly, how complacency can outlast even the most obvious portents of disaster.‘Something New Under the Sun’ Is a Climate-Change Mystery Set in Hollywood | smurguia | October 9, 2021 | Outside Online
Amateur prognosticators, freelance seers, searchers for signs and pursuers of portents may regard Friday, which started the new year, with special scrutiny.First day of new year unusually chilly, unusually wet | Martin Weil | January 2, 2021 | Washington Post
If Cutler’s optimism is a portent of things to come, it may not be long before the ocean floor is dotted with sustainable datacenters to feed our ever-increasing reliance on our phones and the internet.Microsoft Had a Crazy Idea to Put Servers Under Water—and It Totally Worked | Vanessa Bates Ramirez | September 17, 2020 | Singularity Hub
At times, it seemed Leonard was awaiting a portent or an omen.The Stacks: How Leonard Chess Helped Make Muddy Waters | Alex Belth | August 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Is this a passing phase or a portent of something more serious?
In Moscow, the cynics are the ones opposing the regime while the idealists are the ones still working for it: another bad portent.This 1979 Novel Predicted Putin’s Invasion Of Crimea | Michael Weiss | May 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
As the great commentator, the Ramban, teaches, “everything that happened to the Patriarchs is a portent for the children.”
And the use of reverberating metallic sound effects to imbue every other moment with sinister portent gets tedious after awhile.‘Broadchurch’ Is Great TV for Fans of ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ and ‘Prime Suspect’ | Andrew Romano | August 7, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
It sounds ominously amid the stillness, like the portent of some calamity, horrible and sudden.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
Should purchases and rumoured purchases of land prove to be a portent, Dafydd had all to lose and nothing to gain by change.Mushroom Town | Oliver Onions
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
There was some hidden portent in her tone which Jarvis failed to divine.The Ghost Breaker | Charles Goddard
British Dictionary definitions for portent
a sign or indication of a future event, esp a momentous or calamitous one; omen
momentous or ominous significance: a cry of dire portent
a miraculous occurrence; marvel
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