Betoken Definition

betokened, betokens
betokened, betokens
To be or give a sign of.
American Heritage
To be a token or sign of; indicate; show.
Webster's New World
To show beforehand; presage.
Webster's New World

Signify by some visible object; show by signs or tokens.


Foreshow by present signs; indicate something future by that which is seen or known.


Origin of Betoken

  • From Middle English bitoknen, bitacnen, from Old English betācnian (“to betoken, signify, designate”), equivalent to be- +‎ token. Cognate with Dutch betekenen (“to mean, signify”), German bezeichnen (“to call, designate”), Swedish beteckna (“to represent, designate, indicate”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English bitoknen bi- be- toknen to signify (from Old English tācnian deik- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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