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Lookups spiked on January 21, 2013.


President Obama began his second term with an inauguration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Many people who looked up the word probably knew its general meaning, but wanted the precise definition: "a ceremonial induction into office."

Inauguration has its roots in the Latin word that means "to practice augury" – in other words, to use signs and omens to predict whether something will turn out good or ill.

In ancient times, augury often involved studying the behavior of birds and animals, or cutting them open to examine their entrails.

How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
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