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Omen   /ˈoʊmən/   Listen
Omen

verb
(past & past part. omened; pres. part. omening)






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Omen" Quotes from Famous Books



... liked the allusion to St Martin's summer; it seemed like a good omen. Was this bright young life, so strangely associated with her own youth, to bring back some spring-time to her winter?—was Jacinth to be a ...
— Robin Redbreast - A Story for Girls • Mary Louisa Molesworth

... soldiers accepted it as an omen of success when about 8 o'clock in the morning of May 22, 1916, six captive balloons stationed over the right bank of the Meuse exploded, thus depriving the German batteries of their observers on whom they counted to get ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume V (of 8) • Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon)

... any hesitation, for he understood in a moment that those savage and superstitious men regarded the appearance of a reptile as an evil omen and an announcement that ...
— In Desert and Wilderness • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... by force. Thy husband will soon come, protected by Sugriva and with the intelligent son of Sumitra in his train, and will soon take thee away hence! O lady, I have had a most terrible dream of evil omen, indicating the destruction of this wicked-minded wretch of Pulastya's race! This night wanderer of mean deeds is, indeed, most wicked and cruel. He inspireth terror in all by the defects of his nature and the wickedness of his conduct. ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... considerably. As he watched, a melancholy softness—as of one who sees deeper than usual into the human spectacle—invaded and transformed his whole expression; his thin body relaxed; his hands dropped at his side. The dead quiet of the house also oppressed him—like a voice—an omen. ...
— The Coryston Family • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... pleasure in pictures of filthy, ruined hovels, in which health and even virtue are impossible, is a strange sign of the times. It is more than strange; it is an omen and a prophecy that people will go into sham ecstasies over one of these pigstyes so long as it is in a gilt frame; that they will give a thousand guineas for its light and shade—light, forsooth!—or for its Prout-like quality, or for its quality of this, ...
— Catharine Furze • Mark Rutherford

... crowd was immense, but all went well so long as the spectacle lasted. When the crowd began to move away, a panic took place. The old and the feeble were thrown down and trampled on. Twenty-four persons were killed, the fetes were broken up, and all hearts were saddened both by the disaster and the omen. ...
— France in the Nineteenth Century • Elizabeth Latimer

... There was ill omen in the light reply. "Why, as to that, my Lord," said Law, "if you should think my poor service useful, your servants might get trace of me at the Green Lion—unless I should be in prison! No man knoweth ...
— The Mississippi Bubble • Emerson Hough

... present occasion shows only a general change of weather with a tendency towards rain. If Dr. Forster's theory be true, it is decidedly one of the minor instances, as far as London weather is concerned.—It will take a good deal of evidence to make us believe in the omen of a Saturday Moon. But, as we have said of the Poughkeepsie Seer, the thing is very curious whether true or false. Whence comes this universal proverb—and a hundred others—while the meteorological observer {323} cannot, when he ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... reception did not last long, and the end was better than the beginning; for the rain ceased, and a rainbow shone beautifully over them as the good fellows stood upon the lawn singing sweetly for a farewell. A happy omen, that bow of promise arched over the young heads, as if Heaven smiled upon their union, and showed them that above the muddy earth and rainy skies the blessed sun still shone for all. Three cheers, and then away they went, ...
— Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... Walker was attacking the Costa-Ricans in Rivas, the dog entered the plaza ahead of the rest, and, finding there one of his own species, he forthwith seized him, and shook him, and put him to flight howling,—giving an omen so favorable, that the greasers were driven out of the town with ease by the others. Even his every-day life was sublime, and elevated above the habit of vulgar dogs. He allowed no man to think himself his master, or attach him individually by liberal feeding ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 27, January, 1860 • Various

... to his chamber, he observed on his dressing-table a small packet addressed to his name, and in an unknown handwriting. Opening it, he found a pretty racing-jacket embroidered with his colours of pink and white. This was a perplexing circumstance, but he fancied it on the whole a happy omen. And who was the donor? Certainly not the Princess Lucretia, for he had observed her fashioning some maroon ribbons, which were the colours of Sidonia. It could scarcely be from Mrs. Guy Flouncey. Perhaps Madame Colonna to please ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

... Miss,' I said. 'He's a bird of bad omen: no mate for you. Mrs. Linton spoke strongly, and yet I can't contradict her. She is better acquainted with his heart than I, or any one besides; and she never would represent him as worse than he is. Honest people don't hide their ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... of serpents came to be considered of good omen, and by a natural consequence they were kept (a harmless sort of course) in the houses, where they nestled about the altars, and came out like dogs or cats to be patted by the visitors, and beg for something to eat. Nay, at table, if we ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... contracted during the civil wars, were such as to oblige him to sell a great portion of his lands, and to part with the ancient Barony of Erskine, the first possession of the family. This necessity may almost be considered as an ill omen for the future welfare of a family; which never seems to be so utterly brought low by fortune, as when compelled to consign to strangers that from which the first sense of importance and stability ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. - Volume I. • Mrs. Thomson

... or brother of his foregoer (though no strict rule of succession seems to appear in Saxo), and duly chosen and acknowledged at the proper place of election. In Denmark this was at a stone circle, and the stability of these stones was taken as an omen for the king's reign. There are exceptional instances noted, as the serf-king Eormenric (cf. Guthred-Canute of Northumberland), whose noble birth washed out this blot of his captivity, and there is a curious ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... that, according to Hippocrates's Doctrine, Deafness is a very dangerous Symptom in the Beginning of acute Disorders, though it be a good Omen, and portends Health, when it does not appear till the Height of Fevers, especially those of a malignant Kind; and adds, that he himself has a thousand Times observed, that those labouring under this Fever have recovered, when this Symptom of Deafness came on at the Height (in ...
— An Account of the Diseases which were most frequent in the British military hospitals in Germany • Donald Monro

... to regard this as a favourable omen, many even asserting their conviction that the savages had quarrelled among themselves, and that attack from them was no longer to be feared; but Dick and Grosvenor took quite another view of the matter. They regarded the cessation of news as ominous in the extreme, and ...
— The Adventures of Dick Maitland - A Tale of Unknown Africa • Harry Collingwood

... knowledge of feminine nature; nor did her feebleness in sustaining it displease him. A steady look of hers had of late perplexed the man, and he was comforted by signs of her inefficiency where he excelled. The effort and the failure were both of good omen. ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... [146] "Evil Omen," a nickname applied by the friars to General Joaquin Jovellar, who was governor of the Islands from 1883 to 1885. It fell to the lot of General Jovellar, a kindly old man, much more soldier than administrator, to attempt the introduction ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... to Petrograd is regarded as a favorable omen, as this diplomat had expressed previous to his departure that he would not come back to his post if he were not successful in placing Rumania on the side of the ...
— Current History, A Monthly Magazine - The European War, March 1915 • New York Times

... by a band to the westward, and echoed back from the north in a single voice, each apparently many miles distant. Animal instinct is usually unerring, and the boys readily recalled the statement of the old trail foreman, that the howling of wolves was an omen of ...
— Wells Brothers • Andy Adams

... occurred later, but have been antedated by the popular tradition to the year above mentioned. For such a birth would, in the opinion of the times, be regarded undoubtedly as a most evident prodigy or omen of evil. Still, even admitting that the date 1100 must be allowed to stand, its remoteness from the present time is not a convincing argument against a belief in the real occurrence of the phenomenon; for of the dicephalic ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... omen. Burke was now rewarded by the discovery that his labours had earned for him recognition and gratitude beyond the narrow limits of a rather exclusive party. He had before this attracted the attention of the mercantile ...
— Burke • John Morley

... came it that the lion's tail was lost, witched from him by that villain of mischief, the monkey; but, O great Genie, I knew there was a lion among men, reverenced, and with enemies; that lion, he that espoused me and my glory, Shagpat! 'Twas enough to know that and tremble at the omen of my dream, O Genie. Wherefore I thought it well to summon thee here, that thou mightest set a guard over Shagpat, and shield him from the treacheries that ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... believed that if this course were adopted he was pretty sure who would be put on shore, if a vote were taken by officers and crew; but he was too wise to say anything upon this point, and contented himself with positively refusing to send southward any news of the evil omen. ...
— The Great Stone of Sardis • Frank R. Stockton

... copies,' he thought, 'have been sold. Seven is a mystical number, and the omen is good. Let me find the seven purchasers of my seven copies, and they shall be the seven golden candle-sticks with which I ...
— Nightmare Abbey • Thomas Love Peacock

... ray of the evening sunlight suddenly illuminated the spot where the soldier sat, so that his noble, blanched face, his black hair, and his clothes were bathed in its glow. The effect was simple enough, but to the girl's Italian imagination it was a happy omen. The stranger seemed to her a celestial messenger, speaking the language of her own country. He thus unconsciously put her under the spell of childhood's memories, while in her heart there dawned another feeling as fresh, as pure as her own innocence. For a short, very short moment, ...
— Vendetta • Honore de Balzac

... for it—ever so small—had flickered in her face, but had vanished before the omen of tears, a little less uncertain, had shown themselves in his own. His eyes filled—but that made her continue. She continued gently. "I think that what it really is must be that you're afraid. I mean," she explained, "that you're afraid of all the truth. If you're in love with ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... omen," she said hastily. "Don't tempt Providence too far, Captain Frazer. At my coming-out reception, I met a man who boasted that he always broke everything within range, from hearts to china. Ten minutes ...
— On the Firing Line • Anna Chapin Ray and Hamilton Brock Fuller

... and eye, uprose in his stirrups and clove Bohun's helmet, the axe breaking in that stroke. It was a desperate but a winning blow: Bruce's spears advanced, and the English van withdrew in half superstitious fear of the omen. His ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... royalists, disapproved of the condemnation of the two women, who had only been convicted of a crime by which neither of them had profited. The reprieve granted to Mme. Acquet, "whose declaration had deceived no one," seemed a good omen, indicating a commutation of her sentence. The nine "brigands" condemned to death received no pity. Lefebre was not known in Rouen, and his attitude during the trial had aroused no sympathy; the others were but vulgar actors in the drama, and only interested ...
— The House of the Combrays • G. le Notre

... she had shown signs of joy and confusion at seeing me again. Yet I was unhappy because I met her still filling a holy office which built a wall between us, also because it seemed to me an evil omen that I should have been repelled from her by a priest of Isis who talked of the curse of the goddess. Moreover the sacred statue, I suppose by accident, turned towards me as it passed and perhaps by the chance of light, seemed to ...
— The Ancient Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... hanging down to the ground, knew that she had descended thence and had fled forth, as one distracted and mad with passion. Presently, he turned and seeing there two birds, an owl and a raven, deemed this an ill omen; so he groaned and recited ...
— The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume IV • Anonymous

... something unusual, the sky became obscured by clouds. It might be a good omen, or a bad one. If a storm, their frail boat would run a terrible risk of being swamped; but if rain should accompany it, there might be a chance of collecting a little water upon a tarpaulin that lay ...
— The Castaways • Captain Mayne Reid

... villain, 'twas well done! May hell get you! To suspect me of cutting trees!—me, the most honest woman in the village. To hunt me like vermin! I'd like to see you lose your cursed eyes, for then we'd have peace. You are birds of ill-omen, the whole of you; you invent shameful stories to stir up strife between ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... Oxford, is he?' Miss Luttrell chimed on vacantly, wagging her wrinkled old head in solemn deprecation of tke evil omen. She knew it as well as Mrs. Oswald herself did, having heard the fact at least a thousand times before; but she made it a matter of principle never to encourage these upstart pretensions on the part of the lower orders, and just to keep ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... in a rude nest or in a hole in the ground, and in small communities; he builds a few deep cells or sacks in which he stores a little honey and bee-bread for his young, but as a worker in wax he is of the most primitive and awkward. The Indian regarded the honey-bee as an ill-omen. She was the white man's fly. In fact she was the epitome of the white man himself. She has the white man's craftiness, his industry, his architectural skill, his neatness and love of system, his foresight; and above all his eager, ...
— Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes and, Other Papers • John Burroughs

... forehead, and stood gazing at the door, shaking his head mournfully, and with the dread of something wrong on the increase. But all was still, and even that Jerry looked upon as a bad omen. ...
— The Queen's Scarlet - The Adventures and Misadventures of Sir Richard Frayne • George Manville Fenn

... great consternation in the mind of good-wife Louder. To have seen the man with the book was an evil omen, and to sign this book was the loss of ...
— The Witch of Salem - or Credulity Run Mad • John R. Musick

... Africa had moulded into his features! I held him in my arms, after we had sped far away from our Southern home,—held him, and glanced at the hot red soil of Georgia and the breathless city of a hundred hills, and felt a vague unrest. Why was his hair tinted with gold? An evil omen was golden hair in my life. Why had not the brown of his eyes crushed out and killed the blue?—for brown were his father's eyes, and his father's father's. And thus in the Land of the Color-line I saw, as it fell across my baby, the shadow ...
— The Souls of Black Folk • W. E. B. Du Bois

... She scarcely knew then. But she knew that she wanted a light to be shining for her when she neared home—longed for it, needed it specially that night. If San Francesco's lamp were burning quietly amid the fury of the sea in such a blackness as this about them—well, it would seem like an omen. She would take it as an ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... three days we were in suspense a monster vulture kept hovering over our house. The people said it was a bad omen, and so I fetched my little gun, though I rather begrudged the cartridge just then; and when it was out of what they call reach, I had the good luck to bring it down. This gave them great comfort, and we hung the vulture on the top ...
— The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II • Isabel Lady Burton & W. H. Wilkins

... and bitter was the feeling against the horseflesh fable—for fable, our anger notwithstanding, we insisted it was—that thinking meat-eaters began to look upon it as a bad omen, and to wonder why a baseless rumour should stir up so much indignation. Tales of this kind, whether or not they tallied with probability, had come to be pooh-poohed, to be treated with disdain. Hence it was ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... days of first bud and leaf Dorothy Thornton looked out of her window with a psychological anxiety. If the first hint of life that came to the great tree were diseased or marked with blight, it would be an omen of ill under which she did not see how she could face her hour, and with fevered eyes she searched the gray branches where the sap was rising and studied the earliest ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... if, at such an hour as this, we are prone to magnify trifles, or that the most insignificant thing becomes an omen full of ghastly meaning and possibilities? The creak of a door in the silence, a rustle in the dark, become to us of infinitely greater moment than the ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... nearly all mutilated. The heads, necks, and busts were all destroyed, leaving the lower part of them—mere quadrangular pillars, without arms, or legs, or body—alone standing. The sacrilege sent universal dismay into the city, and was regarded as a most depressing omen, and was done, doubtless, with a view of ruining Alcibiades and frustrating the expedition. But all efforts were vain to ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... fortune of war, they drive us utterly away, what they will do next can only be conjectured. If a new monarchy is erected, they will want a KING. He who first takes into his hand the sceptre of America, should have a name of good omen. WILLIAM has been known both as conqueror and deliverer; and perhaps England, however contemned, might yet supply them with ANOTHER WILLIAM. Whigs, indeed, are not willing to be governed; and it is possible that KING WILLIAM may be strongly inclined to guide their ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... joy the sailors felt at seeing a living creature after the days in which they had seen "nor shapes of men nor beasts," they had a special pleasure in welcoming the albatross because it was regarded as a bird of good omen. ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... must return home." I was weeping like a child. "Jatinda's callous departure is an ill omen. This ...
— Autobiography of a YOGI • Paramhansa Yogananda

... hardly touched by the ravages of war, and which by its prosperity alone might have proved the amenity of British military rule. This force seems to have skirted Wepener without attacking a place of such evil omen to their cause. Their subsequent movements are readily traced by ...
— The Great Boer War • Arthur Conan Doyle

... blush of modesty, the embarrassment, and the tears of the young virgin. The bright torch of Hymen is not forgotten among the modern Greeks. It is carried before the new married couple into the nuptial chamber, where it burns till it is consumed, and it would be an ill omen were it by any accident extinguished, wherefore it is watched with as much care as of old was the sacred fire of the vestals. Arrived at the church, the bride and bridegroom each wear a crown, which, during the ceremony, the priest changes, by giving the crown ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 403, December 5, 1829 • Various

... my right lid and, as I opened wide my eyes, lo and behold! both were stone-blind: naught could I see for the black darkness before them and ever since that day have I been sightless and helpless as thou foundest me. When I knew that I was blinded, I exclaimed, "O Darwaysh of ill-omen, what thou didst fore tell hath come to pass;" and I fell to cursing him and saying "O would to Heaven thou hadst never brought me to the hoard or hadst given me such wealth. What now avail me all this gold and jewels? Take back thy forty camels and make me whole again." Replied he, ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... a very ancient custom, not yet fully explained, but which clearly had for its object the reverential burying of a rabbit or hare. It is characteristic of the totem animal that it serves as an omen to its clansmen, and we find that the hare is an omen in Britain. Boudicca is said to have drawn an augury from a hare, taken from her bosom, and which when released pursued a course that was deemed fortunate ...
— Folklore as an Historical Science • George Laurence Gomme

... not. The death that had gone before the bridal seemed to have left its shade upon the house. The air was heavy and oppressive; the rooms were dark; a deep gloom filled up every chink and corner. Upon the hearthstone, like a creature of ill omen, sat the aged clerk, with his eyes fixed on some withered branches in the stove. He ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... solitary prayer; 18th of every August (Franz's death-day) she has gone down punctually to the vaults in the Stephans-Kirche, and sat by his coffin there;—last August, something broke in the apparatus as she descended; and it has ever since been an omen to her. [Hormayr, OEsterreichischer Plutarch, iv. (2tes) 94; Keith, ii. 114.] ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... Telemachos sat down, and Zeus sent two eagles flying over the heads of the wooers, close to each other. They looked down upon the crowd of people and tore each other's heads and vanished. The Ithacans saw the deadly omen, and a venerable prophet among them stood up and said: "Noble youths, I advise you seriously to depart from this royal house, for this is a sign that Odysseus is coming home. Woe to you if he finds you in his palace. You will ...
— Odysseus, the Hero of Ithaca - Adapted from the Third Book of the Primary Schools of Athens, Greece • Homer

... he cannot want the inclination, to act with promptitude. The enclosed note Mr. Alan Fairford must be pleased to consider as his first professional emolument; and she who sends it hopes it will be the omen of unbounded success, though the fee comes from a hand so unknown ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... a big and powerful man—he was also courageous, but the absence of Dodge and the presence of Cunningham offered such sinister omen that temporarily he was bereft of his natural wit ...
— The Pagan Madonna • Harold MacGrath

... claim to a more enduring national existence. In honest truth, what with the hope-inspiring influence of the design, and what with Leutze's undisturbed evolvement of it, I was exceedingly encouraged, and allowed these cheerful auguries to weigh against a sinister omen that was pointed out to me in another part of the Capitol. The freestone walls of the central edifice are pervaded with great cracks, and threaten to come thundering down, under the immense weight of the iron dome,—an appropriate ...
— Sketches and Studies • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... Myriads of bats and owls, and all manner of fowls of darkness and bad omen, crazed by the glare of twenty torches, startled the echoes with infernal clangor. Screaming and huddling together, some fled under the wide skirts of sable, which Darkness, climbing to the roof in fear, drew up after her; some hid with lesser shadows between columns of great girth, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... it was pitch dark, and the armour gave out glistering beams as of fire, and he said to his father, "The pillars of the house are on fire." And his father said, "It is the gods who sit above the stars, and have power to make the night as light as the day." And he took it for a good omen. And Telemachus fell to cleaning ...
— THE ADVENTURES OF ULYSSES • CHARLES LAMB

... I have obtained (according to the usual expression) a place of dignity, but no great omen of future pomp or riches; and possessing a small residence {64} near the castle of Brecheinoc, well adapted to literary pursuits, and to the contemplation of eternity, I envy not the riches of Croesus; happy and contented with that mediocrity, which I prize far beyond all ...
— The Itinerary of Archibishop Baldwin through Wales • Giraldus Cambrensis

... sunshine came into the room. "Look! how bright and propitious for our plans. Dear Ruth, it seems like an omen for the future!" ...
— Ruth • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... due to no natural and incurable condition. It is the direct result of certain artificial ligatures and compressions; remove these and it disappears. This spectre haunts the conscience of England to incite her not to a deed of blood but to a deed of justice; every wind is favourable and every omen. It is, indeed, true that if she is to succeed, England must do violence to certain prejudices which now afflict her like a blindness; she must deal with us as a man with men. But is not the Kingdom of Heaven taken ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... Life of Pericles, says:—"The whole fleet was in readiness, and Pericles on board his own galley, when there happened an eclipse of the Sun. The sudden darkness was looked upon as an unfavourable omen, and threw the sailors into the greatest consternation. Pericles observing that the pilot was much astonished and perplexed, took his cloak, and having covered his eyes with it, asked him if he found anything terrible in that, or considered it as a bad presage? Upon his ...
— The Story of Eclipses • George Chambers

... these institutions themselves, so far as they relate to religion and war. As I have no wish to keep those who would know my views on these matters in suspense, I say at once, that to many it might seem of evil omen that the founder of a civil government like Romulus, should first have slain his brother, and afterwards have consented to the death of Titus Tatius the Sabine, whom he had chosen to be his colleague in the kingship; since his countrymen, if moved by ambition and lust ...
— Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius • Niccolo Machiavelli

... hands, what could move him to visit us? Surely, he could have no sinister motive just then? Could he, after all, be willing to trust to his luck and release us, his predestined victims, as the unhappy Prince had trusted to his? The omen was ill. The barricades had been removed evidently before Legrand had arrived on the scene to interfere, and even as I hesitated Barraclough turned the key, and the door fell open. Holgate waddled heavily into the corridor ...
— Hurricane Island • H. B. Marriott Watson

... years had we lived here without the blessing of a public service of praise and thanksgiving. We regarded this commencement as an omen of better times, and our little "sewing-society" worked with renewed industry, to raise a fund Which might be available hereafter in securing the permanent services ...
— Wau-bun - The Early Day in the Northwest • Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie

... feet, with his handsome person, princely fortune, and magnificent home near New Orleans, while off in the dim distance loomed up a dark coffin, in which was the cold, pale form of one whom she knew too well. Was her dream an omen of the coming future? We ...
— Tempest and Sunshine • Mary J. Holmes

... heap upon you—you, the most pointless things imaginable, saucy apes, brewers of odious contrasts, haunting birds of ill omen, mocking echoes, unseasonable reminders, oft-returning vexations, skeletons in my morris-chair, jesters in the tomb, death's-heads at the wedding feast, outlaws of the brain that every night defy the mind's police ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... dances and telling of stories. It was the subject of several superstitions. If it did not burn all night that was looked upon as a misfortune, and if a barefooted or squinting person came to the house while it was burning that also was a bad omen. The name Yule carries us back to the far-off ages when the heathen nations of the North held their annual winter festival in honour ...
— Little Folks (December 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... behind the victim, with her sable plumage and her hooked beak, like a bird of ill-omen. She was out of breath—for Mr Dombey, full of great thoughts, had walked fast—and she croaked hoarsely as she waited for the opening of ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... lucky of all dreams, they say in Izumo, is a dream of Fuji, the Sacred Mountain. Next in order of good omen is dreaming of a falcon (taka). The third best subject for a dream is the eggplant (nasubi). To dream of the sun or of the moon is very lucky; but it is still more so to dream of stars. For a young wife it is most for tunate to dream of swallowing a star: this signifies that ...
— Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan • Lafcadio Hearn

... tolerated by the law.[529] Barlow had been openly preaching that purgatory was a delusion; that a layman might be a bishop; that where two or three, it might be, "cobblers or weavers," "were in company in the name of God, there was the church of God."[530] Such ill-judged precipitancy was of darker omen to the Reformation than papal excommunications or imperial menaces, and would soon be dearly paid for in fresh martyr-fires. Latimer, too, notwithstanding his clear perception and gallant heart, looked with bitterness on the confiscation of establishments ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... down it, and found himself at last on the great Esplanade, whither the little porter had taken him three days before. He was close then to the Museum, and to her house. Destiny had led him, unconsciously, towards the scene of his enterprise. It was a good omen; he would go thither at once. He might sleep upon her doorstep as well as upon any other. Perhaps he might catch a glimpse of her going out or coming in, even at that late hour. It might be well to accustom himself ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... little better than an ass, he cannot be so false of word as to train me to prison under false pretexts? I trow he shall first see for the last time how the English axe plays, if such is to be the sport of the evening. But let us see the upper end of this enormous vault; it may bear a better omen." ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... 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 ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... whom can we else oppose, Who could from Hector bring his honour off, If not Achilles? the success of this, Although particular, will give an omen Of good or bad, even ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... to his soldiers, uttered this sentiment: "With the help of the gods we have the surest hope that we shall save ourselves with glory." At this point a soldier sneezed. At once all adored the god who had sent this omen. "Since at the very instant when we are deliberating concerning our safety," exclaimed Xenophon, "Zeus the savior has sent us an omen, let us with one consent offer ...
— History Of Ancient Civilization • Charles Seignobos

... one of evil omen. We went to Gorizia, that pretty Austrian spa that was taken by the Italians last year, and has suffered from the war as much as Udine, its neighbor across the old frontier, has prospered. In the heart of the town its old ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... get any more money for him. Instead of complaining or boasting, or flattering his princely friend, or trying to incite him to activity of some kind, as he had been accustomed to do, he wrapped himself in a silence that could not be regarded as a favourable omen. ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... and Magog, emblems of strength, stand as guardians of the chief Buddhist temples. The figures are protected by a network of iron wire, through which the votaries, praying the while, spit pieces of paper, which they had chewed up into a pulp. If the pellet sticks to the statue, the omen is favourable; if it falls, the prayer is not accepted. The inside of the great bell at the Tycoon's burial-ground, and almost every holy statue throughout the country, are all covered with these outspittings ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... any of her relations, and no right to eat with them. She sleeps, eats and works separately; her touch is considered impure for seven years. If a man, going out on business, meets a widow, he goes home again, abandoning every pursuit, because to see a widow is accounted an evil omen. ...
— From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan • Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

... Jacobites are so transported, that they are opening subscriptions for all boroughs that shall be vacant—this is wise! They will spend their money to carry a few more seats in a Parliament where they will never have the majority, and so have none to carry the general elections. The omen, however, is bad for Westminster; the High-bailiff went to ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... "It's an evil omen, Miss," a waitress said to Nance one evening. "In Ireland ghosts come to foretell bad news. It's no good to the college, shure, that ...
— Molly Brown's Senior Days • Nell Speed

... mask always made Venters remember; now that it was gone he seldom thought of her past. Occasionally he tried to piece together the several stages of strange experience and to make a whole. He had shot a masked outlaw the very sight of whom had been ill omen to riders; he had carried off a wounded woman whose bloody lips quivered in prayer; he had nursed what seemed a frail, shrunken boy; and now he watched a girl whose face had become strangely sweet, ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... I woo'd and wedded: know too that my Queen In childing died; but not, as you believe, With her, the son she died in giving life to. For, as the hour of birth was on the stroke, Her brain conceiving with her womb, she dream'd A serpent tore her entrail. And too surely (For evil omen seldom speaks in vain) The man-child breaking from that living tomb That makes our birth the antitype of death, Man-grateful, for the life she gave him paid By killing her: and with such circumstance As suited such unnatural tragedy; He coming into light, if light it were That darken'd at his very ...
— Life Is A Dream • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... the natives supposed it, occurred. Among the presents offered by the king was ajar of honey; this one of the servants upset without breaking the pot. Had it been broken, the omen would have been unfortunate; as it was, the governor was highly pleased, and ordered the poor to be called in to lick up the honey. They rushed in, squabbling among themselves. One old man, having a long beard, came off with ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... from you. I never reflected on your Actions (answer'd Agnes with all the Indifference of which she was capable) and if you think you offend me, you are in the wrong to make me perceive it. This Coldness is but an ill Omen for me (reply'd Don Alvaro) and if you have not found me out to be your Lover to-day, I fear you ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume V • Aphra Behn

... the Asikni, which means "black." That river had another name also, Kandrabhaga, which means "streak of the moon." The Greeks, however, pronounced that [Greek: Sandarophagos], and this had the unlucky meaning of "the devourer of Alexander." Hesychius tells us that in order to avert the bad omen Alexander changed the name of that river into [Greek: Akesines], which would mean "the Healer;" but he does not tell, what the Veda tells us, that this name [Greek: Akesines] was a Greek adaptation of another name of the same river, ...
— India: What can it teach us? - A Course of Lectures Delivered before the University Of Cambridge • F. Max Mueller

... hand and affectionately kissing it, while her face kindled with a sense of her sex's rights, "and I should be unfaithful to my womanhood were I to say otherwise. You had entered into the most solemn of all human contracts, and evil is the omen when such an engagement is veiled by any untruth. But, still, one would think you might have been happy with ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... applied the match, and some white splinters were seen to fly from the enemy's topmast. A cheer burst from the throats of the crew who saw the success of the experiment. It was looked upon as a good omen for the future. The cheer, however, was repressed by the officers. The men stood at their quarters. The captains of guns, with their matches in their hands, most of them stripped to the waist, to allow them the better to work the tackles, and also, should they be wounded, to escape the ...
— The Heir of Kilfinnan - A Tale of the Shore and Ocean • W.H.G. Kingston

... in other newspapers, and indeed it went about Great Britain later and found its way to the Colonies. "An Oriental Omen" it was headed, and Madame's only regret appeared to be that it could not be held to be distinguished by the quality of absolute truth. But there it stood in print, and there was the name of Hilbert and Co., the old established firm, making a speciality of manufacturing military accoutrements, dating ...
— Love at Paddington • W. Pett Ridge

... again. Raiding parties cling to the river-courses, which they know; but she and her people must have been far to the west of any place these adventurers of the Minnetarees ever saw. Sacajawea she calls herself—the 'Bird Woman.' I swear I look upon that name itself as a good omen! She has come back like a dove to the ark, this Bird Woman. William Clark, we shall reach the sea—or, at least, you will ...
— The Magnificent Adventure - Being the Story of the World's Greatest Exploration and - the Romance of a Very Gallant Gentleman • Emerson Hough

... it sounded so like an omen. 'No, but Hazel, listen,' he said; 'the Indians are coming ...
— The Talking Horse - And Other Tales • F. Anstey

... of innocence should be good omen; the gods grant it!" said Nicanor. He pushed onward through the press to get a nearer view of the Saxons; and heard as he came a great voice ...
— Nicanor - Teller of Tales - A Story of Roman Britain • C. Bryson Taylor

... in little demand and little appreciated. A compensation for this is found in the beautiful surroundings. Yesterday I was in the cemetery where Beethoven and Schubert are buried. Just think what I found on Beethoven's grave: a pen, and, what is more, a steel pen. It was a happy omen for me and I shall preserve it religiously." On Schubert's grave he found nothing, but in the city he found Schubert's brother, a poor man with eight children and no possessions but a number of his brother's manuscripts, including "a few operas, four great masses, four or five ...
— Chopin and Other Musical Essays • Henry T. Finck

... fancies, in fanciful play, 'If I want a rose,' I demurely said, 'I must look for an omen to point the way, And I must look for ...
— Harry • Fanny Wheeler Hart

... walls of the tent were hung with costly Gobelin tapestry, all of which represented scenes of bloodshed. On one side was the massacre of the innocents, on the other the execution of the Maccabees. The archduchess herself was horror-stricken at the omen. On that night, two of the ladies in waiting, who had assisted the queen in her toilet, died suddenly. Think of the terrible storm that raged on the dauphin's wedding night; and of the dreadful accident which accompanied ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... intended coming to Whaling in a few days. He had posed among the natives as a spirit-doctor and had, according to reports, worked many wonderful cures by his incantations. Three whales had come into the hands of the East Cape hunters. This was an excellent catch and had been taken as a good omen; the bearded stranger was doubtless highly favored by the spirits of ...
— The Blue Envelope • Roy J. Snell

... who were scattered in all directions, came running back to me, calling out, "Peace! peace! you will finish all your work in spite of these people, and in spite of everything." Like them, I took it as an omen of good success to crown me yet, thanks to ...
— The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume II (of 2), 1869-1873 • David Livingstone

... moment or two betwixt every note, and you will have some idea of the moaning of the goatsucker of Demerara. You will never persuade the native to let fly his arrow at these birds. They are creatures of omen and of reverential dread. They are the receptacles of departed souls come back to earth, unable to rest for crimes done in their ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... bad omen of the reception which he was to expect; but a worse followed, when, upon inquiry for his daughter and her husband, he was told they were weary with travelling all night, and could not see him; and when lastly, upon his ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... countries of Israel and Judah which were nearly coterminous with far-off Egypt. The rapidity of the victories which he had just succeeded in winning at the foot of Mount Taurus and Mount Amanus must have seemed a happy omen of what awaited his enterprise in the valleys of the Orontes and the Jordan. Although the races of southern and central Syria had suffered less than those of the north from the ambition of the Ninevite kings, they had, none the less, been sorely tried during the previous century; ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 7 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... to be relieved." After this, again, come pastimes and relaxations before the evening exercises, after which the herald's cry is heard "to take the evening meal." When they have sung a hymn to the gods to whom the offerings of happy omen had been performed, the final order, "Retire to rest at the place of ...
— The Polity of the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians • Xenophon

... his face took the fire of a new enthusiasm: "Leonard," he went on, "why should not we retrieve the past? Let us take that motto—the more ancient one—for an omen, and let us fulfil it. I believe it is a good omen, I believe that one of us ...
— The People Of The Mist • H. Rider Haggard

... Carol in the gallery of the church and her being carried out just before the commencement of the ceremony, was looked upon by some of the more superstitious of the immediate spectators as a sign of evil omen to the happiness of those who, in the phrase which is so often only the echo of devils' laughter, were about "to be ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... quadrupeds inside the cooler shadow of their coverts. Only two of the former are seen—a brace of urubus, or "king vultures," soaring in circles aloft—beautiful birds, but less emblematic of life than death. A bad omen he might deem their presence; and worse, if he but saw what they see. For, from their more elevated position, they command a view of the plain to a much greater distance, and see mounted men upon it; not a single party, but three distinct groups of them, ...
— Gaspar the Gaucho - A Story of the Gran Chaco • Mayne Reid

... sense of England; and if it rested on any depth of conviction, and were not rather (as I always flatter myself it is) a thing of rumour and hearsay, of repetition and reverberation, mostly from the teeth outward, I should consider it of evil omen to the country and to its highest interests in these times. For my own share, all the light that has yet reached me on Mr. Eyre and his history in the world goes steadily to establish the conclusion that he is a just, humane, and valiant man, faithful to his trusts everywhere, and ...
— On the Choice of Books • Thomas Carlyle

... two-year-old, on his knee, as if to guard him from some moral or social contagion. Then Bertram remembered how he had seen African mothers beat or pinch their children till they made them cry, to avert the evil omen, when he praised them to their faces; and he recollected, too, that most fetichistic races believe in Nemesis—that is to say, in jealous gods, who, if they see you love a child too much, or admire it too greatly, will take it from you or do it some grievous bodily ...
— The British Barbarians • Grant Allen

... the former fight fared ill, hero Adrastos, is now endowed with tidings of a better omen. Yet in his own house his fortune shall be contrariwise: for he alone of all the Danaan host, after that he shall have gathered up the bones of his dead son, shall by favour of the gods come back with unharmed folk to ...
— The Extant Odes of Pindar • Pindar

... might have seemed a good omen. The great gate which leads into a square courtyard was shut; it opened. The post of the National Guards, composed of some twenty men, took up their arms and rendered military honors to the Assembly. The Representatives entered, a Deputy Mayor received them with ...
— The History of a Crime - The Testimony of an Eye-Witness • Victor Hugo

... am over-wary; but if I am not, there is even now something of ill omen amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country—the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... Ann street, and then made his way into Nassau, and down that thoroughfare into Wall, where his appearance caused a sensation. Some superstitious persons believed him the spirit of a departed Ursa Major, and others of his fraternity welcomed the animal as a favorable omen. The bear walked quietly along to the Custom House, ascended the steps of the building, and became bewildered, as many a biped bear has done before him. He seemed to lose his sense of vision, and, no doubt, endeavoring ...
— A Unique Story of a Marvellous Career. Life of Hon. Phineas T. • Joel Benton

... omen, indicating that he was beginning to respect me. Then he pulled out his purse, and reluctantly laid two francs on ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... Maqueda was trembling, for she, too, thought this occurrence a very bad omen, and even Oliver remained silent, perhaps because he feared its ...
— Queen Sheba's Ring • H. Rider Haggard

... them, just as a dog would. But what was his surprise to find, as he gnawed, in the mouth of each fish a piece of silver! Some one had read the story of Saint Peter to a purpose. Young Bach looked in vain for a person to thank, but perceiving no one he took it as the act of God and an omen that his pilgrimage to hear the great organist should ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... but he dropped into it the deadly drop. Only no man saw the thing that he did. But when they were all about to drink, some one spake an evil word to his neighbour, and Ion heard it, and having full knowledge of augury, held it to be of ill omen, and bade them fill another bowl; and that every one should pour out upon the ground that which was in his cup. And on this there came down a flight of doves, for such dwelt in the temple of Apollo without fear, and sipped of the wine that had been ...
— Stories from the Greek Tragedians • Alfred Church

... is a beautiful black bird with a chestnut band across the back and wings; it has also a fleshy lappet on either side of the head. The tieki is considered a bird of omen: if one flies on the right side it is a good sign; if on the ...
— A Dictionary of Austral English • Edward Morris

... goddess, saying, "Oh, Kalee! Kun-kalee! Bhud-kalee! Oh, Kalee! Maha-kalee! Calkutta Walee! if it seems fit to thee that the traveller now at our lodging should die by the hands of this thy slave, vouchsafe us thy good omen." They then sit down and watch for the good omen; and if they receive it within half an hour, conclude that their goddess is favourable to the claims of the new candidate for admission. If they have a bad omen, or no omen at all, some other Thug must ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay



Words linked to "Omen" :   foreboding, foreshow, death knell, sign, threaten, indicate, signal, bespeak, preindication, point, augury, auspice, ominous, foretoken



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