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bode (verb) portend; indicate (future).

When we take a thing, an animal, a bird, a dream, or an occurrence as an indication of a good or bad happening in the future, the thing, the animal, etc. bode well or ill for us respectively. Some people feel that the appearance of an owl, when they are setting out on a journey bodes ill for them. That is, they fear that something bad might happen on the journey. Similarly, dreams are supposed to bode well or ill for us, that is, they are interpreted as signs of good or bad happenings in the future.

  • The appearance of a comet and the occurrence of eclipses, for long, have been feared to bode evil for the people in the places where they are seen.
  • In Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar,' Caesar's wife sees in her dream, his statue bleeding, and she fears that it bodes evil for him. As though to prove her fears right, Caesar is assassinated the next day.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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