\ 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

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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

History bodes well for stocks in April, a bullish sign for investors as major averages inch toward record highs. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Calendar Flipping to April Typically Bodes Well for Stocks," 2 Apr. 2019 Capricorns are usually smart, loyal, and disciplined, so that bodes well for Hannah! Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Jed Wyatt, Hannah's 'Bachelorette' Contestant and Fellow Southerner?," 29 Mar. 2019 Neither mattered to Washington, which should bode well for them in a series where Vegas holds home-ice advantage. Adam Candee, Detroit Free Press, "Vegas Golden Knights clip Washington Capitals, 6-4, in Game 1 thriller," 29 May 2018 Cinemascore, and robust opening-night box office numbers bode well for continued interest in a Crazy Rich Asians film franchise. Aja Romano, Vox, "Crazy Rich Asians’ mid-credits scene is brief, but very revealing," 18 Aug. 2018 None of that bodes well for either of the two women that claim to be making these allegations or the veracity of them. Fox News, "Daines slams Dems' 'desperation tactics' against Kavanaugh," 24 Sep. 2018 That bodes ill for future East-West relations the world over, no matter what margin Putin wins by. Stefan Wolff, Washington Post, "Remember the Cold War? Putin has brought it back.," 19 Mar. 2018 Newly released State Department data likewise showed a decline in the number of new student visas awarded in the fiscal year ending in September 2017, which bodes ill for enrollment this year. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump is bent on destroying one of our winningest exports," 21 Mar. 2018 The evening also offered a preview of things to come: Gemma Chan’s ruffled Oscar de la Renta is part of the Fall 2019 collection and its unapologetic prettiness bodes well for the brand’s show at New York Fashion Week next month. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "SAG Awards 2019: The Best Dressed Celebrities on the Red Carpet," 28 Jan. 2019

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

11 Apr 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 How to pronounce bode (audio) \
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

Comments on bode

What made you want to look up bode? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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