portent [pôr′tent΄]
[L portentum < portendere: see PORTEND]
1. something that portends an event about to occur, esp. an unfortunate event; omen
2. a portending; significance [a howl of dire portent]
3. something amazing; marvel

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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  • Portent — Por*tent (?; 277), n. [L. portentum. See {Portend}.] That which portends, or foretoken; esp., that which portends evil; a sign of coming calamity; an omen; a sign. Shak. [1913 Webster] My loss by dire portents the god foretold. Dryden. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • portent — index caution (warning), forerunner, harbinger, indicant, indication, phenomenon (unusual occurrence) …   Law dictionary

  • portent — 1560s, from M.Fr. portente, from L. portentum a sign, omen, from neut. of portentus, pp. of portendre (see PORTEND (Cf. portend)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • portent — *foretoken, presage, prognostic, omen, augury Analogous words: presentiment, foreboding, misgiving, *apprehension: forewarning, warning, cautioning or caution (see WARN) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • portent — ► NOUN 1) a sign or warning that something momentous or disastrous is likely to happen. 2) archaic an exceptional or wonderful person or thing. ORIGIN Latin portentum omen, token …   English terms dictionary

  • portent — [[t]pɔ͟ː(r)tent[/t]] portents N COUNT: oft N of n A portent is something that indicates what is likely to happen in the future. [FORMAL] The savage civil war there could be a portent of what s to come in the rest of the region... I hope this is a …   English dictionary

  • portent — por|tent [ˈpo:tent US ˈpo:r ] n literary a sign or warning that something is going to happen = ↑omen portent of ▪ Some people believe the raven is a portent of death …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • portent — noun 1) a portent of things to come Syn: omen, sign, signal, token, forewarning, warning, foreshadowing, prediction, forecast, prophecy, harbinger, augury, auspice, presage; writing on the wall, indication, hint; l …   Thesaurus of popular words

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