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Related to omen: bad omen


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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a phenomenon or occurrence regarded as a sign of future happiness or disaster
2. prophetic significance
(tr) to portend
[C16: from Latin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



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.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


A phenomenon that serves as a sign or warning of some future good or evil:
Idiom: writing on the wall.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[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.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nOmen nt, → Zeichen nt; it is an omen of greatnessdas bedeutet Erfolg; a bird of ill omenein Unglücksvogel m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈəʊmən] npresagio, auspicio
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈəumən) noun
a sign of a future event. Long ago, storms were regarded as bad omens.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
A CROW was jealous of the Raven, because he was considered a bird of good omen and always attracted the attention of men, who noted by his flight the good or evil course of future events.
The fact is, that soon after my arrival at the cottage there had occurred to myself an incident so entirely inexplicable, and which had in it so much of the portentous character, that I might well have been excused for regarding it as an omen. It appalled, and at the same time so confounded and bewildered me, that many days elapsed before I could make up my mind to communicate the circumstances to my friend.
Then Dorian looked at Lord Henry and said, with a heavy sigh, "It is a bad omen, Harry, a very bad omen."
Telemachus took this speech as of good omen and rose at once, for he was bursting with what he had to say.
Aye, sir, said Starbuck drawing near, 'tis a solemn sight; an omen, and an ill one.
She became so fantastically and pressingly earnest in her entreaties that we would walk up and see her apartment for an instant, and was so bent, in her harmless way, on leading me in, as part of the good omen she desired, that I (whatever the others might do) saw nothing for it but to comply.
Don Quixote and Sancho were left alone, and the moment Samson took his departure, Rocinante began to neigh, and Dapple to sigh, which, by both knight and squire, was accepted as a good sign and a very happy omen; though, if the truth is to be told, the sighs and brays of Dapple were louder than the neighings of the hack, from which Sancho inferred that his good fortune was to exceed and overtop that of his master, building, perhaps, upon some judicial astrology that he may have known, though the history says nothing about it; all that can be said is, that when he stumbled or fell, he was heard to say he wished he had not come out, for by stumbling or falling there was nothing to be got but a damaged shoe or a broken rib; and, fool as he was, he was not much astray in this.
"It is a name of ill omen to the princes of the house of France."
the sandwiches and sherry brought me a dream that I could not but consider of good omen. And this was the dream.
[1304a] a quarrel about a wedding was the beginning of all the seditions that afterwards arose amongst them; for the bridegroom, being terrified by some unlucky omen upon waiting upon the bride, went away without marrying her; which her relations resenting, contrived secretly to convey some sacred money into his pocket while he was sacrificing, and then killed him as an impious person.
This omen of good fortune gave the soldiers great encouragement; the action grew hot, and they came at length to a general battle; but the Moors, dismayed by the advantages our men had obtained at first, were half defeated before the fight.
THAT did ye devise when with me, that do I take as a good omen,--such things only the convalescents devise!