portending evil or harm; foreboding; threatening; inauspicious: an ominous bank of dark clouds.
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: 1580–90; < Latinōminōsus portentous, equivalent to ōmin- (stem of ōmen) omen + -ōsus-ous
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.