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

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 After having tried Francis Mallmann's cuisine and powerful sense of place in Buenos Aires, a chef/grill-master who trained under his auspicious eye will teach us the secrets of his dramatic open-fire cooking. Maita Barrenechea, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to South America," 5 Oct. 2016 That auspicious number for an off-Loop theater explains why Shannon is here this summer. Chris Jones,, "Michael Shannon returns to the role he played in 1995 for Red Orchid's 25th season," 3 July 2018 Hindus consider keeping a vial of Ganges water in the house to be both auspicious and necessary to give to a dying person. Antonia Neubauer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Asia," 5 Oct. 2016 Brennan, the son of veteran Boston roots-rocker Dennis Brennan, has since sustained the positive energy of that auspicious debut with a whole lot more bad news from the world of rock ’n’ roll. James Sullivan,, "Welcome to ‘Disgraceland,’ where music and true crime meet," 3 May 2018 Love & Friendship was a hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, which is where Metropolitan made its auspicious debut 26 years ago. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Whit Stillman On Directing Jane Austen," 27 Apr. 2016 Not the most auspicious start to a post-presidency. Michael Paterniti, GQ, "Jimmy Carter for Higher Office," 26 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

13 Nov 2018

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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

What made you want to look up auspicious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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