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

  • transitive v. To serve as an omen or a warning of; presage: black clouds that portend a storm.
  • transitive v. To indicate by prediction; forecast: leading economic indicators that portend a recession.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to serve as a warning or omen
  • v. to signify; to denote

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To indicate (events, misfortunes, etc.) as in future; to foreshow; to foretoken; to bode; -- now used esp. of unpropitious signs.
  • transitive v. To stretch out before.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To stretch forth; protend.
  • To betoken; presage; signify in advance; foreshow.
  • Synonyms To forebode, augur, presage, threaten, foreshadow. See omen.

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

  • v. indicate by signs


Middle English portenden, from Latin portendere; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin portendere ("to foretell"), from por- ("forward") + tendere ("to stretch"), present active infinitive of tendo. (Wiktionary)



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