aus·​pi·​cious | \ ȯ-ˈspi-shəs \

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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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

Naturally, Cardi’s 2019 is already off to an auspicious start. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Cardi B Is Already Living Her Best Life in 2019," 4 Jan. 2019 Of course, Twitter users were quick to meme-ify the moment, framing it as a not-super-auspicious way for 2019 to kick off. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen Got Hit in the Face by an Umbrella on Live TV, and Obviously It Became a Meme," 1 Jan. 2019 The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Hanuman, and Tuesdays are seen as auspicious for offering prayers to him. Omer Farooq, The Seattle Times, "Bus accident in south India kills at least 55 people," 11 Sep. 2018 This is a very positive lunation for you, Gemini darling, so be sure to take advantage of this auspicious occasion. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 And this summer will be a most auspicious occasion for the famous Red Planet. Joe Rao,, "Mars Makes Its Closest Approach in 15 Years This Summer: How to See It," 29 May 2018 This example, wrought with ivory, gold, glass, rubies, turquoise and gilt bronze, incorporates dancers, lions and vine-like designs intended to be auspicious, Ms. Bindu Gude says. Peter Saenger, WSJ, "Kingdoms of Sri Lanka," 16 Nov. 2018 Your resilience will pay off, Capricorn darling, so be sure to take advantage of this auspicious transit. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 The position, however, did offer moments that now seem auspicious. New York Times, "True Tales of ‘Sex and the City’," 6 June 2018

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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Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for auspicious

The first known use of auspicious was in 1593

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English Language Learners Definition of auspicious

: showing or suggesting that future success is likely


aus·​pi·​cious | \ ȯ-ˈspi-shəs \

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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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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