Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Portentous

portentous [pawr-ten-tuh s]
1. Of the nature of or constituting a portent; foreboding
2. Full of unspecifiable significance; exciting wonder and awe
2. Done in a pompously or overly solemn manner so as to impress


The portentous tone is exacerbated by Will Epstein's soundscore: an assemblage of surf and ambient noise that could easily be sold as a sleep aid. (Brian Seibert, New York Times, Review: At Met Breuer, Dancers Try to Be Like Life, Too)

"Such a portentous and mysterious monster roused all my curiosity" (Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Naming him was a portentous proceeding and one not to be lightly gone about. (Joseph C Lincoln, The Depot Master)

MasterChef's use of deeply portentous music in the background only adds to this. (The Sun, 2014)


From the Latin word portentōsus, dating back to 1530–40. (

Tags: adjective, latin, p, wordsmith: sallymn

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