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Borrowed from Latin portendere (to foretell), from por- (forward) + tendere (to stretch), present active infinitive of tendo.



portend (third-person singular simple present portends, present participle portending, simple past and past participle portended)

  1. (transitive) To serve as a warning or omen of.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Milton, Paradise Lost
      A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom, / Real or allegoric, I discern not; Nor when: eternal sure--as without end,
  2. (transitive) To signify; to denote.
    Let it be known that the Rapture portends the End of Days.
    • 2012 June 26, Genevieve Koski, “Music: Reviews: Justin Bieber: Believe”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      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.


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