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SAT vocabulary: ominous

More Halloween-related vocabulary! What does ominous mean?

Quick Vocab Quiz for the word ominous

First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word ominous, try this quick vocab quiz:

ominous most nearly means

(A) inexperienced (B) lax (C) lofty (D) dark (E) foreboding

(Answer is below.)

Part of Speech: ADJECTIVE

Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈa.mə.nəs/ Glossary-style: [AH-muh-nuhs]

Definition: giving indication of a coming evil; being an evil omen; threatening (Ex: ominous music in a movie).

Example: It is a fairly standard cinematic device to use darkness to give a film an ominous feel; in fact, it’s hard to imagine an upbeat movie that is dark.

Discussion: If you know the word omen, then you should be able to learn ominous fairly quickly and easily.

If something is ominous, then it shows that something bad will or might happen. In simpler English, something ominous is a “bad sign”, something does not bode well for the future. ominous is stronger a word than something like inauspicious; the former indicates that something bad or evil may occur, while the latter may indicate only that things may not turn out favorably.

And finally, here are some examples of things that might be considered ominous: Dark clouds or spooky, slow music in films gives the film an ominous feel. If someone has just set out on a journey and sees a black cat cross his path, he may find that an ominous sign. (No offense to black cats; I think they’re pretty.)

Answer to the quick quiz above:

Answer Click Here to Show the Answer!

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

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