"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[bih-toh-kuh n] /bɪˈtoʊ kən/
verb (used with object)
to give evidence of; indicate:
to betoken one's fidelity with a vow; a kiss that betokens one's affection.
to be or give a token or sign of; portend:
a thunderclap that betokens foul weather; an angry word that betokens hostility.
Origin of betoken
1125-75; Middle English bitocnen, bitacnen. See be-, token Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for betoken
  • The appearance of those who had been in consultation did not betoken a hopeful prospect for impeachment.
  • The entries in combination betoken a sale rather than a lease.
  • Possibly the correspondent may be right, though his actions did not betoken such a purpose.
  • Presidents directions in this regard betoken a singular insight.
  • Eyes in rapid and constant motion betoken anxiety, fear or care.
  • All these elements betoken the rites owed to a chthonic deity.
British Dictionary definitions for betoken


verb (transitive)
to indicate; signify: black clothes betoken mourning
to portend; augur
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for betoken

late 12c., from be- + Old English tacnian "to signify," from tacn "sign" (see token). Related: Betokened; betokening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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