Definition of aegis
- under the aegis of the Constitution
- passed new laws under the aegis of national security
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having no claim to the land under the aegis of the law, the cattle baron decided to claim it by force
a medical study that was questioned by many because it was done under the aegis of a major pharmaceutical company
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We borrowed "aegis" from Latin, but the word ultimately derives from the Greek noun aigis, which means "goatskin." In ancient Greek mythology, an aegis was something that offered physical protection. In some stories, it was the thundercloud where Zeus kept the thunderbolts he used as weapons. In others, the aegis was a magical protective cloak made from the skin of the goat that had suckled Zeus as an infant. The word first entered English in the 15th century as a noun meaning "shield" or "protection," and by the 20th century it had acquired the extended senses of "auspices" or "sponsorship."
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
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