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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The new law augurs well for Denver, a city whose open space to population ratio is shrinking, whose ozone levels and incidences of lung disease are rising, and whose impermeable concrete surfaces are increasing. Wellington Webb, The Denver Post, "Webb: Park Hill Golf Course land can and must be preserved under new conservation law," 12 Nov. 2019 That augurs a busy next couple of months for chairs of the committees holding impeachment hearings, including Jerry Nadler of Judiciary, Elijah Cummings of Oversight, Maxine Waters of Financial Services and Adam Schiff of Intelligence. The Economist, "Nancy Pelosi launches an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump," 25 Sep. 2019 What happens in California often augurs nationwide trends. Andrea Gabor, Harper's magazine, "The K-12 Takeover," 28 Oct. 2019 The return to civilian rule in Nigeria augured well for relations between the two countries. Bheki Mngomezulu, Quartz Africa, "The awkward history behind Nigeria and South Africa’s turbulent relationship," 9 Oct. 2019 Well, except for the Lady of the House, an American, possibly auguring well for the new trade treaty that Boris Johnson has promised to make with Donald Trump. Chris Jones,, "Is ‘Downton Abbey’ a conservative parable or straight from the playbook of Andrew Yang?," 19 Sep. 2019 However, a brutal military campaign waged against an uprising in western Matabeleland province that ended in 1987 augured a bitter turn in Zimbabwe’s fortunes. Farai Mutsaka And Christopher Torchia, USA TODAY, "Robert Mugabe, longtime Zimbabwe leader, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 That augurs a future where consumers will have to hunt for their favorite shows and films among lots of different services. Washington Post, "NBC’s ‘Peacock’ to join the streaming fray in April," 17 Sep. 2019 Increasingly fractious domestic politics augured both more unrest at home and an unsteady hand abroad. Fred Bauer, National Review, "What the Nationalism vs. Liberalism Debate Misses," 28 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about augur

Time Traveler for augur

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about augur

Statistics for augur

Cite this Entry

“Augur.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for augur



English Language Learners Definition of augur

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on augur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for augur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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 accept, comply, or submit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!