Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “portentous”

portentous

adjective     /pɔːˈten.təs/ US  /pɔːrˈten.t̬əs/
formal disapproving too serious and trying to be very important : The problem with the book is that it sometimes descends into portentous philosophizing .Showing arrogance and conceitConfidence and self-assuranceBoasting literary Portentous events , statements , or signs are important because they show that something unpleasant is very likely to happen : The report contains numerous portentous references to a future environmental calamity .Predicting things and intuition portentously     /-li/ adverb formal disapproving
(Definition of portentous adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of portentous

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Showing arrogance and conceit, but you might be interested in these topics from the Pride topic area:

Translations of “portentous”

Word of the Day

cookery

the skill or activity of preparing and cooking food

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More