- Portend is defined as to be a warning or signal of.
When rain clouds warn of rain, this is an example of a time when the clouds portend rain.
- to be an omen or warning of; foreshadow; presage
- to be an indication of; signify
Origin: Middle English portenden from Classical Latin portendere from por-, akin to per, through plush tendere, to stretch: see thin
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
transitive verb por·tend·ed, por·tend·ing, por·tends
- To serve as an omen or a warning of; presage: black clouds that portend a storm.
- To indicate by prediction; forecast: leading economic indicators that portend a recession.
Origin: Middle English portenden, from Latin portendere; see ten- in Indo-European roots.