\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

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 Meanwhile, Mayfield’s rise up the draft board this past spring should bode well for Penn State’s Trace McSorley. Andy Staples,, "Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL," 12 July 2018 That balance should bode well for the brand; check back in January to see his next act in Paris for Fall 2019. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Palomo Spain Returns to Madrid for Spring 2019—and Reveals a New, More Casual Direction," 9 July 2018 Getting this one off to a good start, and with the way the Royals have been swinging the bats lately, bodes well. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Alex Gordon stays hot as Royals get rare series-opening victory over Tigers | The Kansas City Star," 3 May 2018 But what bodes well for the final is that Croatia was more composed on the ball and created more chances as the game against England went on. Rob Harris,, "Three reasons why Croatia will win the World Cup final," 14 July 2018 Marler said this bodes well for reducing the prevalence of drinking and driving. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Craft beer market in northwest Harris County gets a boost from delivery service," 6 July 2018 Casse said the performance bodes well for Wonder Gadot, who remains winless through five starts this year. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Foul or not, Wonder Gadot adds dramatic flair to Kentucky Oaks 2018 with runner-up finish," 4 May 2018 Our Economists Say The strength in manufacturing employment, which has posted the best 12-month streak since 1998, bodes well for a turnaround in service-sector hiring in the near term., "Powell: U.S. Federal Budget Is Not on a Sustainable Path," 6 Apr. 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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Dictionary Entries near bode





Bode's law



Phrases Related to bode

bide one's time

Statistics for bode

Last Updated

10 Oct 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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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