adjective aus·pi·cious \ ȯ-ˈspi-shəs \
|Updated on: 10 Jul 2018

Definition of auspicious

1 : showing or suggesting that future success is likely : propitious
  • made an auspicious beginning
2 : attended by good fortune : prosperous
  • an auspicious year





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Examples of auspicious in a Sentence

  1. After his auspicious debut, Chambers became sought after by serious collectors of folk art; but given that the present show is now only the second he has had and is the first retrospective look at him, he is probably as obscure to the general museum going public today as he was in 1942. —Sanford SchwartzNew York Review of Books15 Jan. 2009
  2. There is, first of all, Marconi himself, the 21-year-old prodigy who burst on London with his gizmo in 1896. This wasn't the most auspicious moment for a half-Irish, half-Italian unknown to announce that he had bested some of the empire's greatest scientific minds. —Kevin BakerNew York Times Book Review5 Nov. 2006
  3. Indeed, it hardly seems like an auspicious time to introduce a brand of cigarettes, especially for tiny Star, which accounts for just over 1 percent of the U.S. market with its four brands of discount smokes. —David NoonanNewsweek16 Oct. 2000
  4. His acclaimed first novel was an auspicious debut.

  5. told him she couldn't dance with him just then, but her auspicious smile encouraged him to ask again later

Recent Examples of auspicious from the Web

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

The Origin of auspicious Is For The Birds

Auspicious comes from Latin auspex, which literally means "bird seer" (from the words avis, meaning "bird," and specere, meaning "to look at"). In ancient Rome, these "bird seers" were priests, or augurs, who studied the flight and feeding patterns of birds, then delivered prophecies based on their observations. The right combination of bird behavior indicated favorable conditions, but the wrong patterns spelled trouble. The English noun auspice, which originally referred to this practice of observing birds to discover omens, also comes from Latin auspex. Today, the plural form auspices is often used with the meaning "kindly patronage and guidance."

Origin and Etymology of auspicious

Synonym Discussion of auspicious

favorable, auspicious, propitious mean pointing toward a happy outcome. favorable implies that the persons involved are approving or helpful or that the circumstances are advantageous.
    • favorable weather conditions
auspicious applies to something taken as a sign or omen promising success before or at the start of an event.
    • an auspicious beginning
propitious may also apply to beginnings but often implies a continuing favorable condition.
    • a propitious time for starting a business

AUSPICIOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of auspicious for English Language Learners

  • : showing or suggesting that future success is likely

AUSPICIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective aus·pi·cious \ ȯ-ˈspi-shəs \

Definition of auspicious for Students

: promising success
  • an auspicious beginning



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to grant as a privilege or special favor

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