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English definition of “portend”

portend

verb [T]     /pɔːˈtend/ US  /pɔːr-/ formal
to be a sign that something bad is likely to happen in the future : It was a deeply superstitious country , where earthquakes were commonly believed to portend the end of dynasties .Predicting things and intuition portent     /ˈpɔː.tent/ US  /ˈpɔːr-/ noun [C] Is it true that cows lying down in a field are a portent of rain ?Predicting things and intuition
(Definition of portend verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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