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

  • noun A phenomenon supposed to portend good or evil; a prophetic sign.
  • noun Prognostication; portent.
  • transitive verb To be a prophetic sign of; portend.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A casual event or occurrence supposed to portend good or evil; a sign or indication of some future event; a prognostic; an augury; a presage. See augur.
  • noun Synonyms Omen, Portent, Sign, Presage, Prognostic, Augury, Foreboding. Omen and portent are the most weighty and supernatural of these words. Omen and sign are likely to refer to that which is more immediate, the others to the more remote. Omen and portent are external: presage and foreboding are internal and subjective; the others are either internal or external. Sign is the most general. Prognostic applies to the prophesying of states of health or kinds of weather, and is the only one of these words that implies a deduction of effect from the collation of causes. Presage and augury are generally favorable, portent and foreboding always unfavorable, the rest either favorable or unfavorable. Omen and augury are most suggestive of the ancient, practice of consulting the gods through priests or augurs. A foreboding may be mistaken; the others are presumably correct. All these words have considerable freedom in figurative use. See foretell, v. t.
  • To prognosticate as an omen; give indication of the future; augur; betoken.
  • To foresee or foretell, as by the aid of an omen; divine; predict.

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

  • noun An occurrence supposed to portend, or show the character of, some future event; any indication or action regarded as a foreshowing; a foreboding; a presage; an augury.
  • transitive verb To divine or to foreshow by signs or portents; to have omens or premonitions regarding; to predict; to augur.

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

  • noun Something which portends or is perceived to portend a good or evil event or circumstance in the future; an augury or foreboding.
  • noun prophetic significance
  • verb To be an omen of.
  • verb To divine or predict from omens.

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

  • noun a sign of something about to happen
  • verb indicate by signs


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

[Latin ōmen.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin omen ("foreboding, omen").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word omen.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Nemo in reverse.

    July 22, 2007

  • Plural of Oman.

    April 6, 2011