ominous


ominous
ominous, portentous, fateful, inauspicious, unpropitious basically mean having a menacing or threatening character or quality.
What is ominous has or seems to have the character of an omen, especially of an omen forecasting evil; the term commonly suggests a frightening or alarming quality that bodes no good, and it may imply impending disaster
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there was something ominous about it, and in intangible ways one was made to feel that the worst was about to come— London

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my ears were startled by the . . . uproar of yelling and shouting. It sounded ominous, but ... I had to go on— Heiser

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What is portentous has or seems to have the character of a portent; portentous, however, less often than ominous suggests a threatening character; it usually means little more than prodigious, monstrous, or almost frighteningly marvelous, solemn, or impressive
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his gravity was unusual, portentous, and immeasurable— Dickens

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the assertion that children of six are "mighty prophets, seers blessed," . . . seemed to him portentous nonsense— Babbitt

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it is portentous . . . that here at midnight, in our little town a mourning figure walks, and will not rest— Lindsay

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What is fateful has or seems to have the quality, character, or importance decreed for it by fate or suggests inevitability
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the fateful conference that brought on war

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to meet a Persian, any Persian, in New York seemed a fateful coincidence— Mehdevi

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but the term often means little more than momentous or appallingly decisive
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the great cases that make the work of the United States Supreme Court of fateful significance— Cohen

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What is inauspicious (compare auspicious under FAVORABLE) is or seems to be attended by signs that are distinctly unfavorable
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an inauspicious horoscope

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But inauspicious usually means nothing more than unlucky, unfortunate, or unlikely to succeed
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an inauspicious beginning of a great project

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you come at a singularly inauspicious moment, when I need all my strength to forget the world— Sabatini

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What is unpropitious (compare propitious under FAVORABLE)carries or seems to carry no sign of favoring one's ends or intentions
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unpropitious omens

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In its more common extended sense the term means merely unfavorable, dis-couraging, or harmful
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made a by-election necessary at a time highly unpropitious for the Government— Cockburn

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sleep and exercise are unpropitious to learning— Jowett

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Analogous words: *sinister, baleful, malign, malefic, maleficent: threatening, menacing (see THREATEN)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ominous — Om i*nous, a. [L. ominosus, fr. omen. See {Omen}.] Of or pertaining to an omen or to omens; being or exhibiting an omen; significant; portentous; formerly used both in a favorable and unfavorable sense; now chiefly in the latter; foreboding or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ominous — [äm′ə nəs] adj. [L ominosus] of or serving as an omen; esp., having the character of an evil omen; threatening; sinister ominously adv. ominousness n. SYN. OMINOUS implies a threatening character but does not necessarily connote a disastrous… …   English World dictionary

  • ominous — I adjective adverse, alarming, augurial, auspicial, baleful, bodeful, dangerous, dark, depressing, dire, direful, disastrous, dismaying, dispiriting, disquieting, disturbing, divinatory, fatidic, fatidical, fear inspiring, fearful, forbidding,… …   Law dictionary

  • ominous — (adj.) 1580s, from L. ominosus full of foreboding, from omen (gen. ominis) foreboding (see OMEN (Cf. omen)). Related: Ominousness …   Etymology dictionary

  • ominous — [adj] menacing, foreboding apocalyptic, augural, baleful, baneful, clouded, dangerous, dark, dire, direful, dismal, doomed, doomful, fateful, fearful, forbidding, gloomy, grim, haunting, hostile, ill boding, ill fated, impending, inauspicious,… …   New thesaurus

  • ominous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ giving the worrying impression that something bad is going to happen. DERIVATIVES ominously adverb ominousness noun. ORIGIN Latin ominosus, from omen omen …   English terms dictionary

  • ominous — adjective ominous clouds Syn: threatening, menacing, baleful, forbidding, sinister, inauspicious, unpropitious, unfavorable, unpromising; portentous, foreboding, fateful, premonitory; black, dark, gloomy; formal minatory; literary direful; rare… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • ominous — ominously, adv. ominousness, n. /om euh neuhs/, adj. 1. portending evil or harm; foreboding; threatening; inauspicious: an ominous bank of dark clouds. 2. having the significance of an omen. [1580 90; < L ominosus portentous, equiv. to omin (s.… …   Universalium

  • ominous — adjective Date: 1580 being or exhibiting an omen ; portentous; especially foreboding or foreshadowing evil ; inauspicious • ominously adverb • ominousness noun Synonyms: ominous, portentous, fateful mean havi …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ominous — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. inauspicious, bodeful, fateful. See warning, prediction, threat. Ant., unthreatening. II (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. foreboding, portentous, threatening, forbidding, fateful, baleful, menacing,… …   English dictionary for students


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