[[t]pɔrˈtɛn təs, poʊr-[/t]] adj.
1) of the nature of a portent; momentous
2) ominously significant or indicative:
a portentous defeat[/ex]
3) solemnly self-important; pompous
4) marvelous; amazing; prodigious
Etymology: 1530–40; < L portentōsus. See portent, -ous por•ten′tous•ly, adv. por•ten′tous•ness, n. syn: See ominous

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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  • Portentous — Por*tent ous, a. [L. portentosus.] 1. Of the nature of a portent; containing portents; foreshadowing, esp. foreshadowing ill; ominous. [1913 Webster] For, I believe, they are portentous things. Shak. [1913 Webster] Victories of strange and almost …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • portentous — I (eliciting amazement) adjective amazing, astonishing, breathtaking, exceptional, extraordinary, great, inconceivable, incredible, indescribable, marvelous, memorable, miraculous, notable, noteworthy, novel, out of the ordinary, outstanding,… …   Law dictionary

  • portentous — 1530s, from L. portentosus, from portentem (see PORTEND (Cf. portend)). Related: Portentously …   Etymology dictionary

  • portentous — *ominous, unpropitious, inauspicious, fateful Analogous words: threatening, menacing (see THREATEN): prodigious, *monstrous: prophesying or prophetic, presaging, foreboding, predicting, foretelling (see corresponding verbs at FORETELL) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • portentous — [adj] exciting; foreboding alarming, amazing, apocalyptic, astounding, augural, destined, doomed, exhilarating, extraordinary, fated, fateful, haunting, ill boding, ill fated, impending, important, inauspicious, inspiring, intriguing, ominous,… …   New thesaurus

  • portentous — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of or like a portent; ominous. 2) excessively solemn. DERIVATIVES portentously adverb portentousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • portentous — [pôr ten′təs] adj. [L portentosus < portentum: see PORTENT] 1. that portends evil; ominous 2. arousing awe or amazement; marvelous 3. ponderous or pompous; self important SYN. OMINOUS portentously adv. portentousness n …   English World dictionary

  • portentous — [[t]pɔː(r)te̱ntəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If someone s way of speaking, writing, or behaving is portentous, they speak, write, or behave more seriously than necessary because they want to impress other people. [FORMAL] There was nothing… …   English dictionary

  • portentous — adjective Date: 15th century 1. of, relating to, or constituting a portent < suspense, portentous foreshadowing, hints of sinister and violent mysteries Francine Prose > 2. eliciting amazement or wonder ; prodigious 3. a. being a grave or serious …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • portentous — adjective 1 literary events that are portentous are very important, especially because they show that something unpleasant is going to happen: portentous events that boded ill 2 trying to appear important and serious: The book is portentous and… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • portentous — por|ten|tous [po:ˈtentəs US po:r ] adj 1.) literary showing that something important is going to happen, especially something bad ▪ Recent developments are as portentous as the collapse of the Berlin Wall. 2.) trying to appear important and… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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