[pawr-tent, pohr-]
an indication or omen of something about to happen, especially something momentous.
threatening or disquieting significance: an occurrence of dire portent.
a prodigy or marvel.

1555–65; < Latin portentum sign, token, noun use of neuter of portentus, past participle of portendere to portend

1. augury, warning. See sign. 2. import.
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World English Dictionary
portent (ˈpɔːtɛnt)
1.  a sign or indication of a future event, esp a momentous or calamitous one; omen
2.  momentous or ominous significance: a cry of dire portent
3.  a miraculous occurrence; marvel
[C16: from Latin portentum sign, omen, from portendere to portend]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1560s, from M.Fr. portente, from L. portentum "a sign, omen," from neut. of portentus, pp. of portendre (see portend).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The entire film is shot through with a sense of gravity and portent.
The composition of the committee turned out to be a portent of things to come.
Their arrival coincides with an earthquake, which shatters the city and offers
  an ominous portent for their mission.
It's not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of
  troubling climate change already underway.
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