Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To be or give a sign of: synonym: indicate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To signify; mean; denote in words.
  • To be a token of; be a visible sign of; give promise of.
  • To foreshow by signs; be or furnish a premonition of; indicate the probability of: as, this fact betokens a good result.
  • To give evidence of; show.
  • Synonyms To signify; presage, portend, augur, bode.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To signify by some visible object; to show by signs or tokens.
  • transitive verb To foreshow by present signs; to indicate something future by that which is seen or known.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Signify by some visible object; show by signs or tokens.
  • verb Foreshow by present signs; indicate something future by that which is seen or known.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb indicate by signs
  • verb be a signal for or a symptom of

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bitoknen : bi-, be- + toknen, to signify (from Old English tācnian; see deik- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bitoknen, bitacnen, from Old English betācnian ("to betoken, signify, designate"), equivalent to be- +‎ token. Cognate with Dutch betekenen ("to mean, signify"), German bezeichnen ("to call, designate"), Swedish beteckna ("to represent, designate, indicate").

Examples

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