Definition of presage in English:


Syllabification: pres·age
Pronunciation: /ˈpresij, priˈsāj


[with object]
  • 1(Of an event) be a sign or warning that (something, typically something bad) will happen: the outcome of the game presaged the coming year
    More example sentences
    • However, this entry seems to presage Kenny's imminent defeat, and in so doing raises the ethnic issue once again.
    • Three years after she developed asthma, I had also; her stomach problems presaged similar ones for me.
    • This makes possible rapid identification of a disturbing trend that could presage an adverse event.
    portend, augur, foreshadow, foretell, prophesy, be an omen of, herald, be a sign of, be the harbinger of, warn of, be a presage of, signal, bode, promise, threaten
    literary betoken, foretoken, forebode
  • 1.1 archaic (Of a person) predict: lands he could measure, terms and tides presage
    More example sentences
    • We may speculate too whether they will presage anything very different from what was said.
    • Repeatedly the disasters he presaged were less troubling than I had feared.


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  • 1A sign or warning that something, typically something bad, will happen; an omen or portent: the fever was a somber presage of his final illness
    More example sentences
    • Perhaps this morning was a promise of beauty yet to come, a presage of what we can expect later on this week.
    • For this is both a presage of the future, reflected in her grave and silent face as she supports his little body, and the epitome of what it is to be a mother.
    • Aware of dire presages connected to the coming of a solar eclipse, he sought to avert the impending dangers; but he died at dawn on May 21, 1639.
  • 1.1 archaic A feeling of presentiment or foreboding: he had a strong presage that he had only a very short time to live
    More example sentences
    • Also, as I have been informed, he had a presage before he first attempted it, which did foresee it would turn to his ruin.
    • Terrified by her presage of death, the patient immediately contacted Mitchell for a series of consultations.



( • archaic )
More example sentences
  • It is therefore as dumb as the presagers.
  • Falls have been claimed to be ominous presagers of death but this view is based on a flawed study.


late Middle English (as a noun): via French from Latin praesagium, from praesagire 'forebode', from prae 'before' + sagire 'perceive keenly'.

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