[pawr-ten-tuh s, pohr-]


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
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

Synonyms for portentous

1, 2. See ominous. 2. unpropitious, inauspicious, threatening.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for portentously

Contemporary Examples of portentously

Historical Examples of portentously

British Dictionary definitions for portentously



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