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Word of the Day
Saturday, May 06, 2000

Definitions for portentous

  1. Foreboding; foreshadowing, especially foreshadowing ill; ominous.
  2. Marvelous; prodigious; wonderful; as, a beast of portentous size.
  3. Pompous.

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Citations for portentous
This victory is without doubt a very special and portentous gift of the gods, she said, "for I believe that there now stands before you the one leader who is the single most qualified to lead us to the peace we long for." Seth Mydans, New York Times
Death of a Salesman has been debunked as a didactic commentary on the bankruptcy of the American dream of success, while Miller has been dismissed as an epigone of Ibsenism, a preachy, pompous and, yes, portentous writer who belongs, like Clifford Odets and Lillian Hellman, to a middlebrow, pre-modernist past. Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
Origin of portentous
1530-1540
Portentous is from Latin portentosus, from portendere, to stretch out before or into the future, to predict, from por- (variant of pro-), before + tendere, to stretch out.