Definition of aegis
- under the aegis of the Constitution
- passed new laws under the aegis of national security
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
having no claim to the land under the aegis of the law, the cattle baron decided to claim it by force
a medical study that was questioned by many because it was done under the aegis of a major pharmaceutical company
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aegis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
We borrowed "aegis" from Latin, but the word ultimately derives from the Greek noun aigis, which means "goatskin." In ancient Greek mythology, an aegis was something that offered physical protection. In some stories, it was the thundercloud where Zeus kept the thunderbolts he used as weapons. In others, the aegis was a magical protective cloak made from the skin of the goat that had suckled Zeus as an infant. The word first entered English in the 16th century as a noun meaning "shield" or "protection," and by the 20th century it had acquired the extended senses of "auspices" or "sponsorship."
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
What made you want to look up aegis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).