\ 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

Sure, the writing wasn't consistently on par with prior seasons, but there were several standout episodes that bode well for season two (slated for 2020). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 Ng Han Guan/AP North Korea had a military parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founding, and what was in it — or, rather, what wasn’t in it — could bode well for nuclear deal talks with the United States. Emily Stewart, Vox, "North Korea kept long-range missiles out of its military parade. It could be a good sign for nuclear talks.," 9 Sep. 2018 Experts said the gubernatorial election will likely reflect the national mood, and because the president’s party tends to lose seats in Congress during his first midterm election, that could bode well for Wolf. Andrew Seidman,, "Are Democrats enthused for Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf's reelection campaign?," 9 Feb. 2018 Its box-office triumph bodes ill for the future of big-ticket Broadway theater. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "The Best Theater of 2018: World-Class Talent on and off the Great White Way," 18 Dec. 2018 In particular, if the circumstance for previous cesarean (ie: breech presentation, failure to dilate) is not present the next time around, that bodes well for mom. Mariko Zapf, Good Housekeeping, "I Had A Successful Vaginal Birth After A Cesarean (VBAC)—Here's What You Need To Know," 16 Nov. 2017 Photo: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press That may not bode well for the New York headquarters site. Jay Greene, WSJ, "The ‘Prosperity Bomb’ of an Amazonian Invasion," 15 Nov. 2018 Going back to a clean and simple name might actually bode well for Apple. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Apple’s new iPhone names are bad, so it’s hard to see where it goes from here," 15 Sep. 2018 That might not bode so well for Trump, who has expressed some concern about China’s influence. Washington Post, "North Korea gets first big dose of Trump summit news," 11 June 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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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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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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Spanish Central: Translation of bode

Nglish: Translation of bode for Spanish Speakers

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