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- (transitive) To serve as a warning or omen of.
- 1671, John Milton, “The First Book”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: […] J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], →OCLC, page 4:
- A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom, / Real or allegoric, I discern not; Nor when: eternal sure--as without end,
- (transitive) To signify; to denote.
- Let it be known that the Rapture portends the End of Days.
- 1982 April 10, Jane Barnes, “Terror and Hope”, in Gay Community News, page 10:
- How alive these poems are with the visual specifics of what he so closely observes, how full of elegance, terror and hope. They portend a poet of major craft, of deep feeling, and of fine intelligence.
- 2012 June 26, Genevieve Koski, “Music: Reviews: Justin Bieber: Believe”, in The A.V. Club, archived from the original on 6 August 2020:
- When the staccato, Neptunes-ian single “Boyfriend” was released in March, musical prognosticators were quick to peg the album it portended, Believe, as Justin Bieber’s Justified, a grown-and-sexy, R&B-centric departure that evolved millennial teenybopper Justin Timberlake into one of the unifying pop-music figures of the aughts.
to serve as a warning or omen