foretoken

foretoken n Foretoken, presage, prognostic, omen, augury, portent are comparable when meaning something (as an event, a phenomenon, or a condition) that serves as a sign of future happenings.
Foretoken, the general term, is applicable to anything observable which may be the basis of a prediction or forecast
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the usual foretokens of a thunderstorm, intense sultriness, a heavily overcast sky, and suddenly arising winds

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Presage is applied chiefly to indications which inspire such emotions as fear or hope, dread or longing, and confidence or despair and therefore give rise to presentiments rather than serve as a basis for prediction
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three times, while crossing the ocean, he sees a lunar rainbow and each time he takes it as a presage of good fortune— Brooks

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Prognostic applies to an advance indication or symptom from which a skilled person can infer what is coming; it is used in medicine of a symptom or sign useful to a physician in predicting the course or the termination of an illness
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prognostics do not always prove prophecies, at least the wisest prophets make sure of the event first— Walpole

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prognostics are those circumstances on which a prognosis is based— Flint

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Omen is applicable chiefly to an extraordinary event or circumstance which one feels, especially under the influence of superstition, to be a promise of something to come
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nay I have had some omens: I got out of bed backwards too this morning, without premeditation; pretty good that too; but then I stumbled coming downstairs, and met a weasel; bad omens those: some bad, some good, our lives are checkered— Congreve

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Consequently, an event of ill omen or of good omen is one that is felt to be a presage of ill or of good.
Augury and omen are often interchangeable, but augury is applicable to ordinary as well as to phenomenal circumstances, and it usually suggests discernment rather than superstition in determining whether it presages good or evil
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Achievements that he regarded as auguries of a successful career for his son

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I had felt there was a mysterious meaning in that moment, and in that flight of dim-seen birds an augury of ill-omen for my life— L. P. Smith

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Portent is applicable chiefly to prodigies or marvels (as an eclipse, a comet, or an earthquake) which are interpreted as forewarnings or supernatural intimations of evil to come
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what plagues and what portents, what mutiny, what raging of the sea, shaking of earth, commotion in the winds— Shak.

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the interest in eclipses began in seeing them as portents that might be avoided— Kroeber

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Analogous words: *sign, symptom, token, mark, badge, note: *forerunner, harbinger, precursor, herald

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Foretoken — Fore*to ken, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Foretokened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Foretokening}.] [AS. foret[=a]cnian; fore + t[=a]cnian.] To foreshow; to presignify; to prognosticate. [1913 Webster] Whilst strange prodigious signs foretoken blood. Daniel …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Foretoken — Fore to ken, n. [AS. foret[=a]cen. See {Token}.] Prognostic; previous omen. Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • foretoken — index caveat, harbinger, herald, indicant, indicate, indication, portend, predict, premonition …   Law dictionary

  • foretoken — [fôr′tō΄kən; ] for v. [ fôr tō′kən] n. [ME foretokne < OE foretacn: see FORE & TOKEN] a prophetic sign; omen; prognostic vt. to be a prophetic sign or omen of; foreshadow …   English World dictionary

  • foretoken — I. noun Date: before 12th century a premonitory sign II. transitive verb (foretokened; foretokening) Date: 15th century to indicate or warn of in advance …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • foretoken — n. /fawr toh keuhn, fohr /; v. /fawr toh keuhn, fohr /, n. 1. a sign of a future event; omen; forewarning. v.t. 2. to foreshadow. [bef. 900; ME fortokne, OE foretacn. See FORE , TOKEN] * * * …   Universalium

  • foretoken — 1. noun A prognostic; a premonitory sign; warning or presentment. 2. verb To betoken beforehand; prognosticate; foreshadow; …   Wiktionary

  • foretoken — Synonyms and related words: adumbration, augur, augury, auspice, badge, betoken, betokening, betokenment, bode, boding, divine, forebode, forerunner, foreshadow, foreshadowing, foreshow, foreshowing, foretokening, forewarning, harbinger, herald,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • foretoken — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. omen. v. t. foreshadow. See prediction. II (Roget s Thesaurus II) I verb To give an indication of something in advance: adumbrate, augur, bode, forecast, forerun, foreshadow, foretell, portend,… …   English dictionary for students

  • foretoken — Ps. lxxvii. 43 …   Oldest English Words

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