ominous was our Word of the Day on 03/09/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of ominous in a Sentence
- Not many sets of initials became universally recognizable during the twentieth century, and those that did often had ominous overtones, from SS to KGB. —Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Atlantic, March 2001
- While politicians and multinational corporations extol the virtues of NAFTA … the ominous curtain is already up in a six-mile section at the border crossing at Mexicali … —Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit, 1996
- Fighting against sensations that sought to claim him, he moved nervously and the note in his hand rattled with a dry and ominous whisper. —Richard Wright, Rite of Passage, 1994
- Arranged in two long and ominous rows, the branding irons dangled from the ceiling in the center of the room, suggesting some sort of fence or jail … —Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, May 1993
an ominous threat of war
He spoke in ominous tones.
Recent Examples of ominous from the Web
But Cove’s tweet about disease transmission also underscores the much more ominous way these pictures can be read.
Today, the much larger and rapidly growing Muslim population of Austria sees their country again setting the tone in Europe — but this time in a far more ominous direction.
That’s an extremely ominous sign for football’s future.
As the writer and director, Kerrigan creates a tense universe that’s ominous from the very beginning, with a low-level hum underlying virtually every moment.
Instead of a noticeable cliffhanger, the Hawkins gang received a surprise happy ending—minus that ominous final shot of the Mind Flayer hovering over a version of the school inside the Upside Down.
Still others have noticed a resemblance between black hooded Taylor considering her less ominous looking self and the classic light side/dark side Kermit meme.
Then the Graham-Cassidy bill came out of nowhere, like a great white shark, accompanied by a bit of ominous music.
Unsealed, an evangelical Christian publication, foretells the Rapture in a viral, four-minute YouTube video, complete with special effects and ominous doomsday soundtrack.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ominous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Difference Between ominous, portentous, and fateful
Ominous didn't always mean "foreshadowing evil." If you look closely, you can see the "omen" in "ominous," which gave it the original meaning of "presaging events to come" - whether good or bad. It is ultimately derived from the Latin word omen, which is both an ancestor and a synonym of our "omen." Today, however, "ominous" tends to suggest a menacing or threatening aspect. Its synonyms "portentous" and "fateful" are used similarly, but "ominous" is the most menacing of the three. It implies an alarming character that foreshadows evil or disaster. "Portentous" suggests being frighteningly big or impressive, but seldom gives a definite forewarning of calamity. "Fateful" implies that something is of momentous or decisive importance.
Synonymsbaleful, dire, direful, doomy, foreboding, ill, ill-boding, inauspicious, menacing, minatory, portentous, sinister, threatening
Related Wordsblack, bleak, cheerless, chill, Cimmerian, cloudy, cold, comfortless, dark, darkening, depressing, depressive, desolate, dim, disconsolate, dismal, drear, dreary, dreich [chiefly Scottish], elegiac (also elegiacal), forlorn, funereal, gloomy, glum, godforsaken, gray (also grey), lonely, lonesome, lugubrious, miserable, morbid, morose, murky, plutonian, saturnine, sepulchral, somber (or sombre), sullen, sunless, tenebrific, tenebrous, wretched; discouraging, disheartening, hopeless, unfavorable, unpromising, unpropitious; ill-fated, ill-starred, star-crossed, troubled, unfortunate, unlucky; evil, malign, malignant
Near Antonymsauspicious, benign, bright, encouraging, favorable, golden, heartening, hopeful, promising, propitious, prosperous
Synonym Discussion of ominous
- ominous rumblings from the volcano
- an eerie and portentous stillness
- the fateful conference that led to war
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