Definitions

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

  • adjective Menacing; threatening.
  • adjective Of or being an omen, especially an evil one.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Conveying some omen; serving as a sign or token; significant.
  • Of good omen; auspicious.
  • Of ill omen; giving indication of coming ill; portentous; inauspicious; unlucky.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to an omen or to omens; being or exhibiting an omen; significant; portentous; -- formerly used both in a favorable and unfavorable sense; now chiefly in the latter; foreboding or foreshowing evil; inauspicious.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to an omen or to omens; being or exhibiting an omen; significant.
  • adjective Specifically, giving indication of a coming ill; being an evil omen; threatening; portentous; inauspicious.

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

  • adjective presaging ill fortune
  • adjective threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

Etymologies

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

[Latin ōminōsus, from ōmen, ōmin-, omen.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ominosus ("full of foreboding"), from omen ("forebiden fruit, omen"), from os ("the mouth") + -men

Examples

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  • the exorcist is ominous

    October 1, 2010

  • "It was ominous at night. Dim light from the glass-domed ceiling cast crosshatched shadows across the walls like a giant spiderweb" (The Red Pyramid, p. 18) The Red Pyramid

    October 24, 2012

  • Clockwork Prince

    Page 102

    She had found her room chilly, dark, and more than slightly (ominous).

    October 24, 2012