au·​gur | \ ˈȯ-gər How to pronounce augur (audio) \

Definition of augur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an official diviner of ancient Rome
2 : one held to foretell events by omens


augured; auguring; augurs

Definition of augur (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to foretell especially from omens
2 : to give promise of : presage This bad news augurs disaster for all of us.

intransitive verb

: to predict the future especially from omens

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Auguring is what augurs did in ancient Rome. Augurs were official diviners whose function it was not to foretell the future, but to divine whether the gods approved of a proposed undertaking, such as a military move. They did so by various means, among them observing the behavior of birds and examining the entrails of sacrificed animals. Nowadays, the foretell sense of the verb is often used with an adverb, such as well. Augur comes from Latin and is related to the Latin verb augēre, meaning "to increase."

Examples of augur in a Sentence

Noun ancient Roman augurs who predicted the future by reading the flight of birds Verb The decision doesn't augur well. the extended interview augurs well for your acceptance into that law school
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These all augur in favor of aggressive actions to flatten the curve of infections. WSJ, 30 Jan. 2022 ByteDance’s growth in emerging markets could be an augur of what’s to come. Chris Stokel-walker, Wired, 22 Nov. 2021 The mission of the Dylanologist is to serve as codebreaker, or some augur of the divine. John Semley, The New Republic, 26 May 2021 Phuket’s largest mosque is in Bang Tao, and this year the first day of Ramadan coincided with the beginning of the Thai New Year festivities, an auspicious augur after a year of economic hardship. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The deal for ChemoCentryx could augur more deal making in the sector, especially after the valuations of potential targets have dropped. Joseph Walker, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2022 His exit may augur another era of fiscal profligacy and aversion to reform. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 21 July 2022 Some worry these changes augur an increasingly isolationist future in China that may persist even as the pandemic eases. Sarah Todd, Quartz, 24 May 2022 But should these anecdotal reports augur a flood of similar data, Paxlovid might offer a surprisingly straightforward fix to one of the pandemic’s biggest puzzles. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 May 2022 The mega-deal is expected to take effect in April, and may augur changes behind the scenes. Brian Stelter, CNN, 28 Mar. 2022 The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to counter inflation, and the bond-market yield curve is close to inverting, which can sometimes augur recession. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 28 Mar. 2022 The ongoing vaccination programs and gradual opening up of economies has resulted in an increase in procedures volume in 2021, and this should augur well for Intuitive Surgical’s top line growth, when compared to the prior year quarter. Trefis Team, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 While not every trend identified here might seem to augur a bright future, there are good reasons for optimism. Aparna Dhinakaran, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'augur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of augur


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1593, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for augur

Noun and Verb

Latin; akin to Latin augēre — see augment entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Augur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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