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. These 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, as in our example sentence. 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 city’s lifeline, now in its 14th month, may be about to end, and while this kind of resolution would normally augur good news and a return to normal, both hotel owners and homeless advocates are saying it’s happening too fast. Kevin T. Dugan, Curbed, 16 June 2021 The Colombian protests could augur additional social upheaval in a volatile region where poverty and income disparities are growing. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021 The deal could also augur a windfall for innovative filmmakers. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2021 If the primary causes are pandemic-related, that may augur a reprieve in the coming summer months as vaccination drives fully reopen the economy. The Economist, 27 Mar. 2021 That could augur a slight slowdown in demand going forward. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, 15 Mar. 2021 The promotion of Lord Frost, the hardline negotiator of the TCA, to replace Michael Gove as minister in charge of EU relations, does not augur compromise. The Economist, 24 Feb. 2021 The latest data do not augur well for the employment picture in December. Nelson D. Schwartz,, 31 Dec. 2020 The failure of the Northern Expedition seemed to augur an imminent fall, but the Heavenly Kingdom would prove remarkably resilient by scoring impressive military victories. George Brice/alamy/aci, History Magazine, 10 Dec. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for augur

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The first known use of augur was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Augur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for augur



English Language Learners Definition of augur

formal : to show or suggest something that might happen in the future

More from Merriam-Webster on augur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for augur

Nglish: Translation of augur for Spanish Speakers


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