\ 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

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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 The next president of the European Union’s executive arm says the Brexit agreement between the EU and the British government bodes well for their future relationship. Washington Post, "The Latest: EU lawmakers might not OK Brexit deal by Oct. 31," 17 Oct. 2019 Beckham also watched his young and then embattled quarterback Baker Mayfield re-gain his moxie and confidence in Baltimore, which should bode well for their future. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Odell Beckham Jr. out to erase the memory of his lone, bad postseason game: ‘I just want to get back to the playoffs’," 5 Oct. 2019 Prague, Czech Republic There’s a Czech term for an Indian summer (babí léto), which bodes well for the possibility of warm days stretching to November. Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Best Places to Visit in Europe in October for Stunning Fall Foliage," 4 Oct. 2019 Quichotte is delighted to find out that the world, in its fraying state, seems to bend under the strength of his conviction, which bodes well for his impossible dream. Nicholas Mancusi, Time, "Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte Is a Fantastical Dream Within a Dream," 22 Aug. 2019 On the one hand, the trade war between the United States and China is threatening the global economy, which bodes well for safe haven bets. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow rises as it attempts another recovery," 8 Aug. 2019 Economists say that favorable perceptions of the current situation, underpinned by upbeat views of the booming job market, bodes well for consumer spending this holiday season. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "Weaker Economic Outlook Weighs on U.S. Consumer Confidence," 27 Nov. 2018 The aggressive, confident approach bodes well for the Galaxy, whose schedule remains its friend to close out the regular season. Avi Creditor,, "The MLS XI, Week 28: Sounders Fans, Galaxy Make Statements," 16 Sep. 2019 And the 49ers hope that bodes well for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati after Garoppolo failed to feast on Tampa Bay’s defense in a 31-17 season-opening win. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo aims to keep feasting in Cincinnati," 11 Sep. 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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for bode

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bode

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bode.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for bode


How to pronounce bode (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bode

Spanish Central: Translation of bode

Nglish: Translation of bode for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bode

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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