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13 Essential Literary Terms

portentous

[pawr-ten-tuh s, pohr-] /pɔrˈtɛn təs, poʊr-/
adjective
1.
of the nature of a portent; momentous.
2.
ominously significant or indicative:
a portentous defeat.
3.
marvelous; amazing; prodigious.
Origin
1530-1540
1530-40; < Latin portentōsus. See portent, -ous
Related forms
portentously, adverb
portentousness, noun
nonportentous, adjective
nonportentously, adverb
nonportentousness, noun
unportentous, adjective
unportentously, adverb
unportentousness, noun
Can be confused
portentous, pretentious.
Synonyms
1, 2. See ominous. 2. unpropitious, inauspicious, threatening.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for non portentous

portentous

/pɔːˈtɛntəs/
adjective
1.
of momentous or ominous significance
2.
miraculous, amazing, or awe-inspiring; prodigious
3.
self-important or pompous
Derived Forms
portentously, adverb
portentousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for non portentous

portentous

adj.

1540s, from Latin portentosus "monstrous, marvelous, threatening," from portentem "portent" (see portend). Related: Portentously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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