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
In an unprecedented incident portending the tightening restrictions to come, in 2015, Rev. Philip Woo was summoned from his Hong Kong office across the border.
Another study found that the same is true in Hollywood: Winning the best actress Oscar portends a divorce, while winning the best actor award does not.
For many, all this portends a rather fearsome future.
The early-vote numbers are a fraction of overall balloting and don’t necessarily portend a record turnout for Democrats for the March 6 election.
According to legend, the traits of each year’s animal portend the characteristics of people born in that year and the conditions and trends for the coming year.
This moment in time may also portend fights to come.
Everything Bull Markets are unusual, and the demise of this one doesn’t necessarily portend a severe decline in bond prices.
Those are all solid numbers, but none portend a dominant closer in the making.
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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