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ominous

[om-uh-nuh s] /ˈɒm ə nəs/
adjective
1.
portending evil or harm; foreboding; threatening; inauspicious:
an ominous bank of dark clouds.
2.
indicating the nature of a future event, for good or evil; having the significance of an omen; being a portent:
Some of these events were immediately ominous, while others only later revealed themselves as such.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Latin ōminōsus portentous, equivalent to ōmin- (stem of ōmen) omen + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
ominously, adverb
ominousness, noun
unominous, adjective
unominously, adverb
unominousness, noun
Synonyms
Ominous, portentous, threatening, menacing, fateful are adjectives describing that which forebodes a serious, significant, and often harmful outcome. Ominous, derived from omen “a predictor of outcomes,” usually suggests evil or damaging eventualities: ominous storm clouds; an ominous silence. Portentous, although it may suggest evil results, often stresses a momentous or very important outcome: a portentous moment in history; a portentous escalation of hostilities. Threatening may suggest calamity or great harm but sometimes mere unpleasantness: a threatening rumble from the volcano; A threatening look from his brother caused him to quickly change the subject. Menacing always suggests serious damage as an outcome: a disease menacing the entire population; He advanced with a menacing swagger. Fateful most often stresses the great or decisive importance of what it describes: a fateful encounter between two future leaders; a fateful day that changed our world.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ominously
  • The stingray's spine, or barb, can be ominously fashioned with serrated edges and a sharp point.
  • The bullet marks that appear so ominously in the wall seconds before the fatal volley are round.
  • His pulse was thready and fast, his belly distended, his bowel ominously silent.
  • Farther upstream there are dry docks, jutting out ominously into desert, where boats were once moored.
  • More ominously, idlers will exploit the generous welfare system.
  • ominously, the once-discredited idea of splashing out on big infrastructure projects has recently been revived.
  • Most ominously, job growth has slowed to a pace that typically signals the start of a recession.
  • It threads through the film, ominously foreboding his appearances.
  • The effigy is a giant animated wooden puppet that waves its arms and growls ominously at the approach of its fate.
  • It is ominously heard directly after the prelude and prefigures the ending of the opera.
British Dictionary definitions for ominously

ominous

/ˈɒmɪnəs/
adjective
1.
foreboding evil
2.
serving as or having significance as an omen
Derived Forms
ominously, adverb
ominousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ōminōsus, from omen
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 ominously
adv.

1590s, from ominous + -ly (2). In earliest use, "of good omen, auspicious;" meaning "of evil omen" first attested 1640s, in Milton.

ominous

adj.

1580s, from Latin ominosus "full of foreboding," from omen (genitive ominis) "foreboding" (see omen). Related: Ominousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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