adjective om·i·nous \ˈä-mə-nəs\

: suggesting that something bad is going to happen in the future

Full Definition of OMINOUS

:  being or exhibiting an omen :  portentous; especially :  foreboding or foreshadowing evil :  inauspicious
om·i·nous·ly adverb
om·i·nous·ness noun

Examples of OMINOUS

  1. an ominous threat of war
  2. He spoke in ominous tones.
  3. Not many sets of initials became universally recognizable during the twentieth century, and those that did often had ominous overtones, from SS to KGB. —Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Atlantic, March 2001

Origin of OMINOUS

(see omen)
First Known Use: 1580

Synonym Discussion of OMINOUS

ominous, portentous, fateful mean having a menacing or threatening aspect. ominous implies having a menacing, alarming character foreshadowing evil or disaster <ominous rumblings from the volcano>. portentous suggests being frighteningly big or impressive but now seldom definitely connotes forewarning of calamity <an eerie and portentous stillness>. fateful suggests being of momentous or decisive importance <the fateful conference that led to war>.
OMINOUS Defined for Kids


adjective om·i·nous \ˈä-mə-nəs\

Definition of OMINOUS for Kids

:  considered a sign of evil or trouble to come <… the clouds there seemed to be growing darker, massing in ominous grey mounds with a yellowish tinge. — Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising>
om·i·nous·ly adverb


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