Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

portend

play
verb por·tend \pȯr-ˈtend\

Simple Definition of portend

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

Full Definition of portend

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to give an omen or anticipatory sign of

  3. 2 :  indicate, signify

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


PORTEND Defined for Kids

portend

play
verb por·tend \pȯr-ˈtend\

Definition of portend

por·tend·edpor·tend·ing

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




Learn More about portend


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up portend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ