portentous(redirected from portentousness)
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1. Of the nature of or constituting a portent; foreboding: "The present aspect of society is portentous of great change" (Edward Bellamy).
2. Full of unspecifiable significance; exciting wonder and awe: "Such a portentous and mysterious monster roused all my curiosity" (Herman Melville).
3. Marked by pompousness; pretentiously weighty.
Usage Note: The last syllable of portentous is properly pronounced (-təs). However, under the influence of words like contentious and pretentious, sometimes this word is pronounced (pôr-tĕn′shəs), as though it were spelled portentious. Both the (-shəs) pronunciation and the spelling with the i (which is occasionally seen in print) are widely considered to be mistakes.
1. of momentous or ominous significance
2. miraculous, amazing, or awe-inspiring; prodigious
3. self-important or pompous
por•ten•tous(pɔrˈtɛn təs, poʊr-)
1. of the nature of a portent; momentous.
2. ominously significant or indicative: a portentous defeat.
3. solemnly self-important; pompous.
4. marvelous; amazing; prodigious.
syn: See ominous.
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|Adj.||1.||portentous - of momentous or ominous significance; "such a portentous...monster raised all my curiosity"- Herman Melville; "a prodigious vision"|
|2.||portentous - ominously prophetic|
|3.||portentous - puffed up with vanity; "a grandiloquent and boastful manner"; "overblown oratory"; "a pompous speech"; "pseudo-scientific gobbledygook and pontifical hooey"- Newsweek|
pretentious - making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction; "a pretentious country house"; "a pretentious fraud"; "a pretentious scholarly edition"