1 of 2


boded; boding

transitive verb

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


2 of 2

past tense of bide

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

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
But the overall design being near-identical to its predecessor doesn’t particularly bode well for the Surface Go 4. Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 21 Sep. 2023 The exposure doesn’t bode well for open-source as its role in AI is being fiercely debated, including as part of the Senate’s probe into potential AI regulation. Bysage Lazzaro, Fortune, 19 Sep. 2023 That doesn’t bode well for the news industry or, more importantly, democracy at large. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 18 Sep. 2023 Typically, that doesn’t bode well for passengers as quality can be hit-or-miss. Chris Dong, Travel + Leisure, 17 Sep. 2023 Over the long run, that does not bode well for the health of the planet — and our own well being. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 15 Sep. 2023 However, the ruling, by Judge Steve C. Jones of the Northern District of Georgia, does not bode well for any of those efforts. Danny Hakim, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Yet Doug McMillon, the chief executive at Walmart, said at a conference this week that he had been surprised by consumers’ resilience this year, and that a solid start to back-to-school shopping boded well for the holiday season. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Though the city hasn't attracted the attention the northwest corner receives, recent developments bode well for the Arkansas River Valley. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, 30 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bode.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English bodian; akin to Old English bēodan to proclaim — more at bid entry 1

First Known Use


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near bode

Cite this Entry

“Bode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
boded; boding
: to indicate (as a future event) by signs : foreshadow


2 of 2

past of bide

More from Merriam-Webster on bode

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!