• synonyms


[pawr-ten-tuh s, pohr-]
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  1. of the nature of a portent; momentous.
  2. ominously significant or indicative: a portentous defeat.
  3. marvelous; amazing; prodigious.
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Origin of portentous

From the Latin word portentōsus, dating back to 1530–40. See portent, -ous
Related formspor·ten·tous·ly, adverbpor·ten·tous·ness, nounnon·por·ten·tous, adjectivenon·por·ten·tous·ly, adverbnon·por·ten·tous·ness, nounun·por·ten·tous, adjectiveun·por·ten·tous·ly, adverbun·por·ten·tous·ness, noun
Can be confusedportentous pretentious


See more synonyms for portentous on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. See ominous. 2. unpropitious, inauspicious, threatening.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for portentously


  1. of momentous or ominous significance
  2. miraculous, amazing, or awe-inspiring; prodigious
  3. self-important or pompous
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper