\ ˈbōd How to pronounce bode (audio) \
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

Synonyms for bode

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of bode in a Sentence

Verb 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 Transitions don’t bode well for the complex U.S. health care system, with its mix of private and government insurance and its labyrinth of policies and procedures. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Apr. 2022 Thirty-seven-year-old subscriber Justin Balich says that even the company’s piloting of a password-sharing crackdown doesn’t bode well. Megan Mccluskey, Time, 29 Mar. 2022 This doesn’t bode well for anyone, but women may be at particular risk. Nedra Rhone, ajc, 25 Mar. 2022 And that doesn’t bode well for the plan that D.C. Public Schools proposed to help students. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 That doesn’t bode well for a Providence team that is just 1-4 SU this season when allowing at least 75 points in regulation. Xl Media, cleveland, 15 Mar. 2022 Indian and Chinese leaders have so far missed some opportunities to work together to mitigate the impacts of climate change, Mizo says, noting that the lack of cooperation doesn’t bode well for the environment. Lou Del Bello, Wired, 27 Feb. 2021 And Sanders argued that the poor management of personal protective equipment distribution does not bode well for that of a vaccine. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 7 Sep. 2020 Unlike Khan, Sharif has maintained an amicable relationship with the generals -- something analysts say could bode well for him. Rhea Mogul And Sophia Saifi, CNN, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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 entry 1

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

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Bode's law

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bode


\ ˈbōd How to pronounce bode (audio) \
boded; boding

Kids Definition of bode

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be a sign of (a future event) This bodes well for us.


Kids Definition of bode (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of bide

More from Merriam-Webster on bode

Nglish: Translation of bode for Spanish Speakers


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