\ˈbōd \
boded; boding

Definition of bode 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to indicate (something, such as a future event) by signs : presage bode disaster recent data that bodes well for her reelection

2 archaic : to announce beforehand : foretell

bode ill

: to show or suggest that future developments or events will be unfavorable or unwelcome : to be a sign of trouble to come Any further diminishing of the species' gene pool can only bode ill for the future.— John Hew Fanshawe

bode well

: to show or suggest that future developments or events will be good or favorable : to be a sign of good things to come … the news … does not bode well for our future standard of living.— Lester C. Thurow


Definition of bode (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of bide

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Synonyms for bode

Synonyms: Verb

augur, forebode (also forbode), promise

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Examples of bode in a Sentence


This could bode disaster for all involved. her natural gift for reading boded well for her future in school

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Every Husky who played snagged at least one rebound, which bodes well for a team that struggled in this department at times last season. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Three takeaways from Washington’s 73-55 season-opening win over Western Kentucky," 7 Nov. 2018 And he's also stayed in touch with his Teen Wolf co-stars, which bodes well for some kind of reunion — in August, Tyler Posey talked about doing a movie take on the beloved MTV show as a reunion moment. Nicole Weaver, Teen Vogue, "Dylan O'Brien Is in Talks to Star in Post-Apocalyptic Drama "Monster Problems"," 24 Oct. 2018 But the conference is far less top heavy this season, which could bode well for tournament parity. Danny Moran,, "Oregon State Beavers men's basketball focused on building momentum toward Pac-12 Tournament," 21 Feb. 2018 Second, Arizona is becoming less white and more urban every day, two trends that bode ill for GOP hopes. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Dems face big loss, big opportunity with Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 Nonetheless, these types of situations don’t bode well for the overall security of Facebook’s platform, especially as users are now more wary of using any and all third-party apps on the social network. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Maker of popular quiz apps on Facebook exposed personal data of 120 million users," 28 June 2018 Since places with large numbers of African Americans are less likely to expand Medicaid, these patterns do not bode well for political equality or democracy. Jamila Michener, Vox, "The politics and policy of racism in American health care," 24 May 2018 Ray Lugo, director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Space Institute, said SpaceX and United Launch Alliance’s efforts to out-maneuver and out-innovate one another bodes well for the region this year. Marco Santana,, "SpaceX, Blue Origin have Florida's Space Coast poised for change," 22 Jan. 2018 Never been beyond the fourth round here in 11 tries but her Eastbourne title bodes well. 3. Jon Wertheim,, "Wimbledon 2018 Seed Reports," 1 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of bode


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for bode


Middle English, from Old English bodian; akin to Old English bēodan to proclaim — more at bid

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Bode's law



Statistics for bode

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for bode

The first known use of bode was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of bode

: to be a sign of (a future event or situation)


\ˈbōd \
boded; boding

Kids Definition of bode

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be a sign of (a future event) This could bode difficulty for all of us.


Kids Definition of bode (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of bide

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bode

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Spanish Central: Translation of bode

Nglish: Translation of bode for Spanish Speakers

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