au·gur | \ˈȯ-gər \

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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Did You Know?


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


ancient Roman augurs who predicted the future by reading the flight of birds


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: Verb

However limited its successes, the contract augured where anti-environmental thinking and strategizing would be headed in subsequent decades. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 Martinez believes that sort of character and spirit augurs well for Belgium's chances. Justin Davis,, "Martinez: Belgium are 'very excited' to face Brazil in World Cup quarterfinals," 5 July 2018 Still, Asadi said Sadr’s evolution is sincere and augurs a strong Iraq defined by rule of law and an independent foreign policy. Washington Post, "Public enemy or savior? An Iraqi city could reveal the true Moqtada al-Sadr," 4 July 2018 Little had augured well for that client, Raymond Crump Jr., during his eight-day trial in US District Court in Washington: Crump, who had been found near the crime scene, was black and poor. Margalit Fox,, "Dovey Johnson Roundtree, barrier-breaking lawyer, 104," 23 May 2018 Little had augured well for that client, Raymond Crump Jr., during his eight-day trial in United States District Court in Washington: Mr. Crump, who had been found near the crime scene, was black and poor. Margalit Fox, New York Times, "Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Barrier-Breaking Lawyer, Dies at 104," 21 May 2018 That augurs particularly badly for the automotive market, where NXP is the market leader. Alex Webb,, "Will Trump come to Qualcomm's rescue again?," 14 May 2018 While Arthur and Kathleen continued to discuss what the blockchain augured—taking a break to marry, in a ceremony in France in the late summer of 2013—Bitcoin’s first major competitor appeared on the horizon. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 Resounding defeats in 2000 and 2006 seemed to augur the end, yet the party endured and rebuilt. Michael Lettieri, Washington Post, "Mexico votes tomorrow. Here’s how the country will be radically transformed when the PRI loses.," 30 June 2018

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


Latin; akin to Latin augēre — see augment entry 1


see augur entry 1

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

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English Language Learners Definition of augur

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

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Comments on augur

What made you want to look up augur? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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