be·​to·​ken | \ bi-ˈtō-kən How to pronounce betoken (audio) , bē- \
betokened; betokening\ bi-​ˈtōk-​niŋ How to pronounce betoken (audio) , -​ˈtō-​kə-​ , bē-​ \

Definition of betoken

transitive verb

1 : to typify beforehand : presage
2 : to give evidence of : show

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Examples of betoken in a Sentence

the humor in his writing is never cruel, and betokens a warm and compassionate heart
Recent Examples on the Web The European elections in May saw turnout rise for the first time ever, betokening the genuine Europeanisation of some political debates. The Economist, 17 Oct. 2019 Banks employ armies of people in back offices, looking for discrepancies that may betoken fraud or honest error. The Economist, 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'betoken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of betoken

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of betoken was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Betoken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of betoken

: to show (something) : to be a sign of (something)

More from Merriam-Webster on betoken

Nglish: Translation of betoken for Spanish Speakers


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