Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “portentous”

See all translations

portentous

adjective uk   /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. 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.
portentously
adverb uk   /-li/ formal disapproving us  
(Definition of portentous from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of portentous?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

be as cold as ice

to be extremely cold

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More