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

Contrary to some fears, their presence in Congress hardly augurs a radical transformation of the Democratic Party. David Greenberg, WSJ, "Socialists Are No Strangers to Congress," 3 Jan. 2019 The results in Georgia and Texas augur a better future for Democrats in these states—someday. William A. Galston, WSJ, "The Midwest Is the Democrats’ Key," 13 Nov. 2018 More truck manufacturing augured by strong job growth in transportation equipment could break the logjam. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Growth Dividend for Workers," 2 Nov. 2018 Recall the warnings that striking down agency fees would augur the death of government unions. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Unions Get an Economics Lesson," 26 Oct. 2018 The Democratic near miss in the Ohio special election augurs well for the party’s prospects in November. Li Zhou, Vox, "“A blue flood, more than just a wave”: 8 experts on midterm elections after the Ohio special election," 10 Aug. 2018 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

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

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

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English Language Learners Definition of augur

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on augur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with augur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for augur

Spanish Central: Translation of augur

Nglish: Translation of augur for Spanish Speakers

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 express emotion in a dramatic way

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