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
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

Demand for jewelry has traditionally climbed during the holiday because gold is seen an auspicious gift from older generations to younger ones. Daniela Wei, The Seattle Times, "Lunar New Year will show trade war’s effects in China economy," 4 Feb. 2019 Over the next few weeks, there are a few auspicious cosmic occurrences that will be sure to sweeten the deal. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Virgo Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018 But word of Trellis, a new boutique egg-freezing clinic opening next week in the Flatiron District, arrived at an auspicious moment—the proverbial age, experts suggest, that fertility noticeably downshifts. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "At 35, I Went to a Millennial Egg-Freezing Clinic—and Now I’m Rethinking My Future," 12 Nov. 2018 More auspicious, the labor participation rate for prime working-age individuals (ages 25 to 54) has risen 0.7 percentage points to 82.3% and for teens has increased to 35.5% from 34.7% over the last year. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Growth Dividend for Workers," 2 Nov. 2018 Getty ImagesWPA Pool This week, Meghan Markle delivered her first solo speech as a royal, but there was an even more auspicious royal first going on at the event. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Mom, Doria Ragland, Is Becoming an Important Part of the Royal Family Behind-the-Scenes," 22 Sep. 2018 Expansive Jupiter links up with transformative Pluto on Wednesday, September 12, creating an extremely auspicious (and very karmic) connection in the sky. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 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

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

20 Feb 2019

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The first known use of auspicious was in 1593

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English Language Learners Definition of auspicious

formal : showing or suggesting that future success is likely


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

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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