Definition of auspicious
- made an auspicious beginning
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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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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."
: showing or suggesting that future success is likely
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