- 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 of portendMiddle English portenden ; from Classical Latin portendere ; from por-, akin to per, through + tendere, to stretch: see thin
transitive verbpor·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 of portendMiddle English portenden, from Latin portendere; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present portends, present participle portending, simple past and past participle portended)
From the Latin portendere (“to foretell”), from por- (“forward”) + tendere (“to stretch”), present active infinitive of tendo.