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[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.
1125-75; Middle English bitocnen, bitacnen. See be-, token Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for betokened
  • But it also betokened a sense of crisis about manners that marked the early years of this century.
  • The features were quite natural, but betokened much suffering.
  • Of a sudden, the sharp reports of our cavalry carbineers, betokened something to do.
  • At the hour when ghosts walk, the rhythmic walk of a soldier betokened the fact that some one was coming up the steps.
  • Although the heavy clouds betokened rain, with the exception of a slight shower, the weather was all that could be desired.
British Dictionary definitions for betokened


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 betokened



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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