• WordNet 3.6
    • v omen indicate by signs "These signs bode bad news"
    • n omen a sign of something about to happen "he looked for an omen before going into battle"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Sometime around 1325, the Aztecs were looking for a place to build their capital. A priest had interpreted an omen to mean the site should be where the found an eagle, perched on a cactus, devouring a snake. And that's why they chose what is now Mexico City; they found the eagle eating a snake while resting on a cactus. The scene is depicted on the Mexican flag.
    • n Omen An occurrence supposed to portend, or show the character of, some future event; any indication or action regarded as a foreshowing; a foreboding; a presage; an augury. "Bid go with evil omen , and the brand
      Of infamy upon my name."
    • v. t Omen To divine or to foreshow by signs or portents; to have omens or premonitions regarding; to predict; to augur; as, to omen ill of an enterprise. "The yet unknown verdict, of which, however, all omened the tragical contents."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n omen A casual event or occurrence supposed to portend good or evil; a sign or indication of some future event; a prognostic; an augury; a presage. See augur.
    • n omen Synonyms Omen, Portent, Sign, Presage, Prognostic, Augury, Foreboding. Omen and portent are the most weighty and supernatural of these words. Omen and sign are likely to refer to that which is more immediate, the others to the more remote. Omen and portent are external: presage and foreboding are internal and subjective; the others are either internal or external. Sign is the most general. Prognostic applies to the prophesying of states of health or kinds of weather, and is the only one of these words that implies a deduction of effect from the collation of causes. Presage and augury are generally favorable, portent and foreboding always unfavorable, the rest either favorable or unfavorable. Omen and augury are most suggestive of the ancient, practice of consulting the gods through priests or augurs. A foreboding may be mistaken; the others are presumably correct. All these words have considerable freedom in figurative use. See foretell, v. t.
    • omen To prognosticate as an omen; give indication of the future; augur; betoken.
    • omen To foresee or foretell, as by the aid of an omen; divine; predict.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Omen ō′men a sign of some future event, either good or evil: a foreboding
    • v.i., v.t Omen to prognosticate: to predict
    • ***


  • Ovid
    “There is something in omens.”
  • Homer
    “Without a sign, his sword the brave man draws, and asks no omen, but his country's cause.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “There is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. omen, the original form being osmen, according to Varro


In literature:

It was a good omen, thought Henry, but he still waited with the illimitable patience which is a necessity of the wild.
"The Keepers of the Trail" by Joseph A. Altsheler
At least the name bestowed upon her was a good omen.
"Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan, 1475-1497" by Julia Mary Cartwright
The year following did not open with favourable omen, both the child and its mother having severe illness.
"The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete" by John Forster
The sun set, pale and rayless, as if drowned in the ill-omened yellow clouds.
"Adventures of a Young Naturalist" by Lucien Biart
She was shocked by this omen, but still she sent them.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
I would not end with so ill-omened a word, but rather with your own sweet name, Jessica.
"The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance" by Paul Elmer More
As for omens, there is no such thing as an omen.
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
Dogs, their howling an omen of death, 4.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 3, January-June, 1851" by Various
I am not sure whether or no it is of good omen to begin the New Year with laughter.
"More Science From an Easy Chair" by Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester
This incident was held by them as an evil omen.
"An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet" by A. Henry Savage Landor
I looked intently, sure that an omen was here.
"Waiting for Daylight" by Henry Major Tomlinson
Besides, the bride of Simwa need fear no omens.
"The Arrow-Maker" by Mary Austin
This they regarded an omen, intended to signify to them, by a divine intimation, that they ought to proceed.
"Darius the Great" by Jacob Abbott
Omens, prodigies, and portents are to be regarded as the product of ages of experience.
"Introduction to the History of Religions" by Crawford Howell Toy
For I have heard that it is right to die with good omens.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy
The omens continued to be favorable.
"The Great Sioux Trail" by Joseph Altsheler
Add to this the belief in omens, which enters very largely into human life and thought.
"India, Its Life and Thought" by John P. Jones
And so, in olden time, an eclipse of the sun came as an omen of terrible disaster, nay as being itself one of the worst of disasters.
"The Astronomy of the Bible" by E. Walter Maunder
The ill-omened Anticosti, the graveyard of many seamen, is yet to be passed.
"Voyage of the Paper Canoe" by Nathaniel H. Bishop
It is an evil omen indeed to meet him on a voyage.
"Toilers of the Sea" by Victor Hugo

In poetry:

Or men whom we see
That have got their death-omen,—
Such wretches are we
In the chains of our foemen!
"The Downfall Of The Gael" by Samuel Ferguson
Unfailing omen, punctual sign!
No sooner am I out,
He hovers by on golden wings
To chase the grey of doubt.
"The Yellow Butterfly" by Manmohan Ghose
What shall the year bring, fraught with omen,
What shall the core of its message be?
Tramp of battle, and bright swords flashing,
And the sunburst over you, Gramachree?
"A New Year’s Song (1898)" by Anna Johnston MacManus
Blest omen of victory, symbol divine
Of peace after tumult, repose after pain;
How sweet and how glowing with promise the sign,
To eyes that should never behold it again!
"The Battle Rainbow" by John Reuben Thompson
No white young day like hope smiles in yon east,
Or, westering, cleaves wild-omened scarlet glooms;
No frosty breezes wreathe your woods in mist;
No breaker o’er Heaven’s glassy ocean booms.
"Your Place Is Heaven, A Stormless Nightless Home?" by Thomas Runciman
Then darkly the words of the boding strain
Like an omen rose on his soul again,
—"Soft be thy step through the silence deep,
And move not the urn in the house of sleep,
For the viewless have fearful might!"
"The Sword Of The Tomb : A Northern Legend" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

In news:

Seeing an Omen on a Faded Newspaper Page.
GUNNISON — Bald eagles perched at the put-in are a rare, but excellent, omen for Colorado fishermen .
When holiday sales are strong on Black Friday weekend, some analysts think it's a bad omen for the holiday season.
We hope this isn't a bad wedding omen.
OMEN Communications is an independent, senior-level consultancy based in Chicago, founded by respected longtime journalist, columnist and public relations practitioner Ronald E Childs.
And I hope it's not an omen of how this year will play out.
Poplar Bluff levee break is omen of things to come.
Zu Audio's new Omen Def loudspeaker is available directly from the company at a price of $2,800 per pair.
Putin's invite to Obama: a formality or a good omen .
It is called "An Omen EP_," not "The Omen .
USA faces tough road to Brazil but draw delivers good omen .
386,000 more jobs: A good omen for September report.
Bad omen about Big Fox.
The Pious Bird of Good Omen .
Do you believe in omens or signs from above.

In science:

These are just the type of omens that foretell the arrival of a ma jor paradigm shift to take us beyond Einstein’s space-time continuum.
Singularity Resolution in Loop Quantum Cosmology: A Brief Overview