ominous

[om-uh-nuhs]
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:
1580–90; < Latin ōminōsus portentous, equivalent to ōmin- (stem of ōmen) omen + -ōsus -ous

ominously, adverb
ominousness, noun
unominous, adjective
unominously, adverb
unominousness, noun


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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ominous (ˈɒmɪnəs)
 
adj
1.  foreboding evil
2.  serving as or having significance as an omen
 
[C16: from Latin ōminōsus, from omen]
 
'ominously
 
adv
 
'ominousness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ominous
1580s, from L. ominosus "full of foreboding," from omen (gen. ominis) "foreboding" (see omen).

ominously
1590s, from ominous. In earliest use, "of good omen, auspicious;" meaning "of evil omen" first attested 1640s, in Milton.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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