auspicious

adjective
aus·​pi·​cious | \ ȯ-ˈspi-shəs How to pronounce auspicious (audio) \

Definition of auspicious

1 : showing or suggesting that future success is likely : propitious made an auspicious beginning Such an auspicious start might have brought only honor and further triumph, but a witches' brew of scientific contentiousness, the temper of the times, and quirks in Dubois's own psyche soon derailed any pleasant development and turned Dubois's bounty into bitterness.— Stephen Jay Gould
2 : attended by good auspices : fortunate, prosperous an auspicious year … a festival that takes place during the hottest months of spring, just before the monsoon rains, and that is considered an auspicious time for weddings.— Cynthia Gorney In days of old, seers entered a trance state and then informed anxious seekers what kind of mood the gods were in, and whether this was an auspicious time to begin a journey, get married, or start a war.— Harvey Cox

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Other Words from auspicious

auspiciously adverb
auspiciousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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."

Examples of auspicious in a Sentence

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 Schwartz, New York Review of Books, 15 Jan. 2009 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 Baker, New York Times Book Review, 5 Nov. 2006 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 Noonan, Newsweek, 16 Oct. 2000 His acclaimed first novel was an auspicious debut. told him she couldn't dance with him just then, but her auspicious smile encouraged him to ask again later
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Recent Examples on the Web Right now is an auspicious time for reconsideration. Joe Mathews, Fortune, "The U.S. Constitution needs an overhaul. Here’s how California can help," 4 July 2020 Today is especially auspicious for taking action with others. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 20 June 2020 Many of India’s 12m annual weddings are scheduled for astrologically auspicious dates. The Economist, "Essential services Covid-19 has stalled the wedding industry," 16 June 2020 Given that automatic fact-checking tools are being touted as a defense against rampant disinformation on social media, these do not seem like auspicious results. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Privacy-preserving A.I. is the future of A.I.," 16 June 2020 The good news is that the first big comedy of the summer, The King of Staten Island, directed by Judd Apatow and starring Pete Davidson, is a potentially auspicious kickoff. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The King of Staten Island," 11 June 2020 Instead, early healers performed dramatic inoculations on auspicious dates. Cody Cassidy, Wired, "Who Discovered the First Vaccine?," 8 June 2020 Its start in the country, however, was less than auspicious. James Griffiths, CNN, "This US church with expansion in its DNA wants to open a temple in China," 6 June 2020 Andrade had arrived at an auspicious moment, when the emperor, Zhengde, was less hostile to foreigners and international exchanges than most of his Ming predecessors. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, "When China Met the West," 6 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of auspicious

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for auspicious

see auspice

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Time Traveler for auspicious

Time Traveler

The first known use of auspicious was in 1593

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Auspicious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/auspicious. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for auspicious

auspicious

adjective
How to pronounce auspicious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of auspicious

formal : showing or suggesting that future success is likely

auspicious

adjective
aus·​pi·​cious | \ ȯ-ˈspi-shəs How to pronounce auspicious (audio) \

Kids Definition of auspicious

: promising success an auspicious beginning

Other Words from auspicious

auspiciously adverb

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Comments on auspicious

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