\ ˈō-mən How to pronounce omen (audio) \

Definition of omen

: an occurrence or phenomenon (see phenomenon sense 1) believed to portend a future event : augury The dark clouds were considered a bad omen.

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Examples of omen in a Sentence

They regarded the win as a good omen for the team. omens of things to come

Recent Examples on the Web

Dow slump sparks recession predictions In what economists warned was a worrying omen, Wall Street suffered its worst day so far this year. NBC News, "Racism in America, Wall Street woes, and the Jeffrey Epstein latest: The Morning Rundown," 15 Aug. 2019 The objects could have been part of ritualistic jewelry used in ceremonies for things fertility, seduction, or to look for omens about a birth or pregnancy. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "A Sorceress’s Kit Was Discovered in the Ashes of Pompeii," 14 Aug. 2019 This is likely because the races are typically held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (which usually falls in June), and the combination of these fifth lunar numbers is believed to be a bad omen. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Know, "Dragon Boat Festival will feature a spicy noodle soup-eating contest this upcoming weekend," 22 July 2019 Cincinnati Reds, 1990 World Series Champions Enquirer front page: Maybe having this in your home will be a good omen and the Reds will win another World Series? Noelle Zielinski,, "You're gonna love what you can find on Etsy when you search for 'Cincinnati'," 30 June 2019 Many Scots feel that this is an omen of worse to come. The Economist, "Leaving the EU is straining the union with Scotland," 29 June 2019 In what may be seen as an ominous omen of our times, the tree that is believed to have inspired the truffula trees in Dr. Seuss’ eco-classic children’s book, The Lorax, toppled over in La Jolla, California. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "La Jolla’s ‘Lorax’ Tree Has Fallen," 19 June 2019 The aquatic mammal of the title appears as an omen, an apparition, two ships’ names, and carved and painted keepsakes. James Sullivan,, "A deep dive into the tale of Pericles," 13 June 2019 In what seemed like a good omen, the legendary Al Attles returned to the building. Ann Killion,, "The end of Oracle? Raptors stun Warriors in perhaps final game in Oakland," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'omen.' 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 omen

1582, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for omen

Latin omin-, omen

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Statistics for omen

Last Updated

28 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for omen

The first known use of omen was in 1582

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English Language Learners Definition of omen

: something that is believed to be a sign or warning of something that will happen in the future


\ ˈō-mən How to pronounce omen (audio) \

Kids Definition of omen

: a happening believed to be a sign or warning of a future event

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More from Merriam-Webster on omen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with omen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for omen

Spanish Central: Translation of omen

Nglish: Translation of omen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of omen for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about omen

Comments on omen

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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