V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary
Definition: 1. to serve as a sign or omen of things to come; 2. to indicate or mean something
Synonyms: foreshadow, forecast, foretell, predict, prophesy, warn, hint, indicate, signify, denote
Antonyms: hide, overshadow, conceal
Tips: Portend is derived from the Latin portendere, which means "foretell." Something that portends predicts the future. Often used with the word "well" (which, by the way, can help you remember, since it rhymes with foretell), as in, "This does not portend well for our future." Portend is similar to bode, but portend usually is an omen of something bad, while bode is an indication of something either good or bad. Both words are usually followed by the word "well." (i.e: "The new financial figures bode well for the future success of our company.") Portend is often used as a more sophisticated way of saying "foretell" or "predict."
Exit polls are designed to portend results of an election before the votes are actually counted. (predict)
The initial findings of the research study did not portend well for the scientist's theory. (foretell, indicate)
The dark clouds may portend an impending thunderstorm. (forecast, signify)
The tone in her boss' voice when he asked Sherry to come up to his office was gruff and did not portend well for her. (foreshadow, signify)
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