Dictionary

portentous

adjective por·ten·tous \pr-ˈten-təs\

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

: trying to seem important, serious, or impressive

Full Definition of PORTENTOUS

1
:  of, relating to, or constituting a portent <suspense, portentous foreshadowing, hints of sinister and violent mysteries — Francine Prose>
2
:  eliciting amazement or wonder :  prodigious
3
a :  being a grave or serious matter <portentous decisions>
b :  self-consciously solemn or important :  pompous <portentous declamation unsalted by the least trace of humor — W. H. Pritchard>
c :  ponderously excessive <that discipline's overwrought, portentous phrases — R. M. Coles>
por·ten·tous·ly adverb
por·ten·tous·ness noun

Examples of PORTENTOUS

  1. <an eerie and portentous stillness hung over the camp the night before the battle>
  2. <in 1969 people regarded the first landing on the moon as a truly portentous event>

First Known Use of PORTENTOUS

15th century

Other Occult Terms

augury, censor, invocation, lucidity, metempsychosis, mojo, numinous, preternatural, weird, wraith

Rhymes with PORTENTOUS

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: porteous rollPrevious Word in the Dictionary: portentiveAll Words Near: portentous
April 25, 2015
lissome Hear it
nimble or easily flexed
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears