writing on the wall

EnglishEdit

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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From the Biblical story in the Book of Daniel; mysterious writing on the wall during King Belshazzar's feast points to the downfall of the Babylonian Empire.

NounEdit

writing on the wall ‎(countable and uncountable, plural writings on the wall)

  1. An ominous warning; a prediction of bad luck.
    He could see the writing on the wall months before the business failed.

Usage notesEdit

  • As an uncountable noun, the phrase alludes to a vague set of ominous indications. As a countable noun, the singular refers to a specific warning.

See alsoEdit

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