portend was our Word of the Day on 02/18/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of portend in a Sentence
The distant thunder portended a storm.
If you're superstitious, a black cat portends trouble.
Recent Examples of portend from the Web
From that perspective, Apple’s focus on privacy portends a future in which some people can afford to escape digital tracking, and others can’t.
Vermont's rocky start here also portends more fallout for CGI, and Massachusetts and Hawaii are already threatening to withhold payments for missing deadlines and botching up work.
Rising rates portend big changes for Main Street, too, including higher interest on your savings accounts, higher payments on your variable-rate home equity loans, and maybe — just maybe — a coming recession.
His decision to retire this year portends even worse political days ahead.
Equally, they might be caught off-guard by good news, such as rising wages, that portends higher interest rates.
This can portend only one event: the Hidden Creek Lake jokulhlaup.
But to commit to such a step now, absent his conclusions, would seem to many outside the base of the Democratic Party to be a nakedly political act that portends another season of chaos and inaction in Washington.
Changing demographics portend a different legislative future.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Portend has been used in English in the context of signs of things to come since the 15th century. The word derives from the Latin verb portendere, which means "to predict or foretell." That verb, in turn, developed as a combination of the prefix por- (meaning "forward") and the verb "tendere" (meaning "to stretch"). So you can think of "portend" as having a literal meaning of "stretching forward to predict." Additional descendants of "tendere" include "extend," "tendon," and "tension," among others.
PORTEND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of portend for English Language Learners
: to be a sign or warning that something usually bad or unpleasant is going to happen
PORTEND Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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