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portentous

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adjective por·ten·tous \pȯr-ˈten-təs\

Simple Definition of portentous

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

  • : trying to seem important, serious, or impressive

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of portentous

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or constituting a portent <suspense, portentous foreshadowing, hints of sinister and violent mysteries — Francine Prose>

  2. 2 :  eliciting amazement or wonder :  prodigious

  3. 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>

portentously adverb
portentousness noun

Examples of portentous in a sentence

  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>



15th Century

First Known Use of portentous

15th century

Synonym Discussion of portentous

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>.

Rhymes with portentous


PORTENTOUS Defined for Kids

portentous

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adjective por·ten·tous \pȯr-ˈten-təs\

Definition of portentous for Students

  1. :  giving a sign or warning of something usually bad that is going to happen <a portentous dream>





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