ominous

ominously, adv.ominousness, n.
/om"euh neuhs/, adj.
1. portending evil or harm; foreboding; threatening; inauspicious: an ominous bank of dark clouds.
2. having the significance of an omen.
[1580-90; < L ominosus portentous, equiv. to omin- (s. of omen) OMEN + -osus -OUS]
Syn. OMINOUS, PORTENTOUS, THREATENING, MENACING, FATEFUL are adjectives describing that which forebodes a serious, significant, and often harmful outcome. OMINOUS, derived from omen "a predictor of outcomes," usually suggests evil or damaging eventualities: ominous storm clouds; an ominous silence. PORTENTOUS, although it may suggest evil results, often stresses a momentous or very important outcome: a portentous moment in history; a portentous escalation of hostilities.
THREATENING may suggest calamity or great harm but sometimes mere unpleasantness: a threatening rumble from the volcano; A threatening look from his brother caused him to quickly change the subject. MENACING always suggests serious damage as an outcome: a disease menacing the entire population; He advanced with a menacing swagger. FATEFUL most often stresses the great or decisive importance of what it describes: a fateful encounter between two future leaders; a fateful day that changed our world.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ominous — ominous, portentous, fateful, inauspicious, unpropitious basically mean having a menacing or threatening character or quality. What is ominous has or seems to have the character of an omen, especially of an omen forecasting evil; the term… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Ominous — Om i*nous, a. [L. ominosus, fr. omen. See {Omen}.] Of or pertaining to an omen or to omens; being or exhibiting an omen; significant; portentous; formerly used both in a favorable and unfavorable sense; now chiefly in the latter; foreboding or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ominous — [äm′ə nəs] adj. [L ominosus] of or serving as an omen; esp., having the character of an evil omen; threatening; sinister ominously adv. ominousness n. SYN. OMINOUS implies a threatening character but does not necessarily connote a disastrous… …   English World dictionary

  • ominous — I adjective adverse, alarming, augurial, auspicial, baleful, bodeful, dangerous, dark, depressing, dire, direful, disastrous, dismaying, dispiriting, disquieting, disturbing, divinatory, fatidic, fatidical, fear inspiring, fearful, forbidding,… …   Law dictionary

  • ominous — (adj.) 1580s, from L. ominosus full of foreboding, from omen (gen. ominis) foreboding (see OMEN (Cf. omen)). Related: Ominousness …   Etymology dictionary

  • ominous — [adj] menacing, foreboding apocalyptic, augural, baleful, baneful, clouded, dangerous, dark, dire, direful, dismal, doomed, doomful, fateful, fearful, forbidding, gloomy, grim, haunting, hostile, ill boding, ill fated, impending, inauspicious,… …   New thesaurus

  • ominous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ giving the worrying impression that something bad is going to happen. DERIVATIVES ominously adverb ominousness noun. ORIGIN Latin ominosus, from omen omen …   English terms dictionary

  • ominous — adjective ominous clouds Syn: threatening, menacing, baleful, forbidding, sinister, inauspicious, unpropitious, unfavorable, unpromising; portentous, foreboding, fateful, premonitory; black, dark, gloomy; formal minatory; literary direful; rare… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • ominous — adjective Date: 1580 being or exhibiting an omen ; portentous; especially foreboding or foreshadowing evil ; inauspicious • ominously adverb • ominousness noun Synonyms: ominous, portentous, fateful mean havi …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ominous — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. inauspicious, bodeful, fateful. See warning, prediction, threat. Ant., unthreatening. II (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. foreboding, portentous, threatening, forbidding, fateful, baleful, menacing,… …   English dictionary for students

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