[ pawr-ten-tuh s, pohr- ]
/ pɔrˈtɛn təs, poʊr- /


of the nature of a portent; momentous.
ominously significant or indicative: a portentous defeat.
marvelous; amazing; prodigious.

Origin of portentous

From the Latin word portentōsus, dating back to 1530–40. See portent, -ous
SYNONYMS FOR portentous
1, 2 See ominous.
2 unpropitious, inauspicious, threatening.
Related forms
Can be confusedportentous pretentious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for portentously

British Dictionary definitions for portentously


/ (pɔːˈtɛntəs) /


of momentous or ominous significance
miraculous, amazing, or awe-inspiring; prodigious
self-important or pompous
Derived Formsportentously, adverbportentousness, noun
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 portentously



1540s, from Latin portentosus "monstrous, marvelous, threatening," from portentem "portent" (see portend). Related: Portentously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper