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1. A phenomenon supposed to portend good or evil; a prophetic sign.
2. Prognostication; portent: birds of ill omen.
tr.v. o·mened, o·men·ing, o·mens
To be a prophetic sign of; portend.

[Latin ōmen.]


1. a phenomenon or occurrence regarded as a sign of future happiness or disaster
2. prophetic significance
(tr) to portend
[C16: from Latin]


(ˈoʊ mən)
1. any event believed to portend something good or evil; augury; portent.
2. prophetic significance; presage.
3. to be an omen of; portend.
4. to divine, as if from omens.
[1575–85; < Latin]
syn: See sign.



handwriting on the wall A portent or prophecy of disaster, a sign of impending and unavoidable doom, an indication or sense of what is to come; often the writing on the wall. The allusion is to the Book of Daniel in the Bible, in which a hand mysteriously appeared and wrote a message on Balshazzar’s palace wall foretelling his destruction and the loss of his kingdom.

my little finger told me that Pain or pleasurable sensation in the fingers was considered by the ancient Roman augurs a sign of evil or joy to come. The pricking of one’s thumb was considered a portent of evil.

By the pricking of my thumbs Something wicked this way comes. (Shakespeare, Macbeth, IV, i)

Thus, one’s finger or thumb can be said to “tell” the future. Sometimes my little finger told me that is used to indicate that one has access to certain information, the source of which may be controversial and unscientific.

stormy petrel One whose arrival is seen as a harbinger of trouble. Stormy petrels (Procellaria pelágica) are the sea birds which sailors call Mother Carey’s chickens. Petrel is derived from the Italian Petrello ‘little Peter,’ in allusion to the way these birds appear to walk on the sea, just as St. Peter walked on the Lake of Gennesareth. Stormy petrels are most often observed just prior to and during a storm; thus, their arrival portends deteriorating weather conditions. The expression may now be applied to anyone whose coming is inevitably followed by disaster or tragedy.

Dr. von Esmarch is regarded at court as a stormy petrel, and every effort was made to conceal his visit to the German emperor. (The World, April, 1892)

See also Mother Carey is plucking her chickens, WEATHER.

weather breeder See WEATHER.


Past participle: omened
Gerund: omening

I omen
you omen
he/she/it omens
we omen
you omen
they omen
I omened
you omened
he/she/it omened
we omened
you omened
they omened
Present Continuous
I am omening
you are omening
he/she/it is omening
we are omening
you are omening
they are omening
Present Perfect
I have omened
you have omened
he/she/it has omened
we have omened
you have omened
they have omened
Past Continuous
I was omening
you were omening
he/she/it was omening
we were omening
you were omening
they were omening
Past Perfect
I had omened
you had omened
he/she/it had omened
we had omened
you had omened
they had omened
I will omen
you will omen
he/she/it will omen
we will omen
you will omen
they will omen
Future Perfect
I will have omened
you will have omened
he/she/it will have omened
we will have omened
you will have omened
they will have omened
Future Continuous
I will be omening
you will be omening
he/she/it will be omening
we will be omening
you will be omening
they will be omening
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been omening
you have been omening
he/she/it has been omening
we have been omening
you have been omening
they have been omening
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been omening
you will have been omening
he/she/it will have been omening
we will have been omening
you will have been omening
they will have been omening
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been omening
you had been omening
he/she/it had been omening
we had been omening
you had been omening
they had been omening
I would omen
you would omen
he/she/it would omen
we would omen
you would omen
they would omen
Past Conditional
I would have omened
you would have omened
he/she/it would have omened
we would have omened
you would have omened
they would have omened
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.omen - a sign of something about to happenomen - a sign of something about to happen; "he looked for an omen before going into battle"
augury, foretoken, preindication, sign - an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come; "he hoped it was an augury"; "it was a sign from God"
auspice - a favorable omen
foreboding - an unfavorable omen
death knell - an omen of death or destruction
Verb1.omen - indicate by signsomen - indicate by signs; "These signs bode bad news"
threaten - to be a menacing indication of something:"The clouds threaten rain"; "Danger threatens"
bespeak, betoken, indicate, signal, point - be a signal for or a symptom of; "These symptoms indicate a serious illness"; "Her behavior points to a severe neurosis"; "The economic indicators signal that the euro is undervalued"
foreshow - foretell by divine inspiration


noun portent, sign, warning, threat, indication, foreshadowing, foreboding, harbinger, presage, forewarning, writing on the wall, prognostication, augury, prognostic, foretoken Her appearance at this moment is an omen of disaster.
"May the gods avert this omen" [Cicero Third Philippic]
"omen: a sign that something will happen if nothing happens" [Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary]


A phenomenon that serves as a sign or warning of some future good or evil:
Idiom: writing on the wall.
بَشير، نَذير، دلالَةٌ عَلى المُسْتَقْبَل
pranašiškas ženklas


[ˈəʊmen] Naugurio m, presagio m
it is a good omen thates un buen presagio que ...
bird of ill omenave f de mal agüero


[ˈəʊmɛn] nprésage m
a good omen → un bon présage
a bad omen → un mauvais présage
to be an omen of things to come
It was an omen of things to come → C'était un présage de ce qui allait arriver.


nOmen nt, → Zeichen nt; it is an omen of greatnessdas bedeutet Erfolg; a bird of ill omenein Unglücksvogel m


[ˈəʊmən] npresagio, auspicio


(ˈəumən) noun
a sign of a future event. Long ago, storms were regarded as bad omens.
References in classic literature ?
Sunshine and laughter were good omens for a pleasure party, and soon a lively bustle began in both houses.
He would delight them equally by his anecdotes of witchcraft, and of the direful omens and portentous sights and sounds in the air, which prevailed in the earlier times of Connecticut; and would frighten them woefully with speculations upon comets and shooting stars; and with the alarming fact that the world did absolutely turn round, and that they were half the time topsy-turvy!
I dangers dared; I hindrance scorned; I omens did defy: Whatever menaced, harassed, warned, I passed impetuous by.
Captain Wragge hailed the change in her as the best of good omens.
As the cavalcade left the court of the monastery, an incident happened somewhat alarming to, the Saxons, who, of all people of Europe, were most addicted to a superstitious observance of omens, and to whose opinions can be traced most of those notions upon such subjects, still to be found among our popular antiquities.
At last I took my departure, sad and dejected, my heart filled with fancies and suspicions, but not knowing well what it was I suspected or fancied; plain omens pointing to the sad event and misfortune that was awaiting me.
I am no prophet, and know very little about omens, but I speak as it is borne in upon me from heaven, and assure you that he will not be away much longer; for he is a man of such resource that even though he were in chains of iron he would find some means of getting home again.
Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts.
The men's faces grew doleful from the interpreting of omens.
The men of Mycenae were willing to let them have one, but Jove dissuaded them by showing them unfavourable omens.
Though they generally professed the Roman Catholic religion, yet it was mixed, occasionally, with some of their ancient superstitions; and they retained much of the Indian belief in charms and omens.
A favorite topic with me was the popular belief in omens -- a belief which, at this one epoch of my life, I was almost seriously disposed to defend.