verb por·tend \pr-ˈtend\

: to be a sign or warning that something usually bad or unpleasant is going to happen

Full Definition of PORTEND

transitive verb
:  to give an omen or anticipatory sign of

Examples of PORTEND

  1. The distant thunder portended a storm.
  2. If you're superstitious, a black cat portends trouble.

Origin of PORTEND

Middle English, from Latin portendere, from por- forward (akin to per through) + tendere to stretch — more at for, thin
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Occult Terms

augury, censor, invocation, lucidity, metempsychosis, mojo, numinous, preternatural, weird, wraith
PORTEND Defined for Kids


verb por·tend \pr-ˈtend\

Definition of PORTEND for Kids

:  to give a sign or warning of beforehand <Distant thunder portended a storm.>


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