pro·​pi·​tious | \ prə-ˈpi-shəs How to pronounce propitious (audio) \

Definition of propitious

1 : favorably disposed : benevolent
2 : being a good omen : auspicious propitious sign
3 : tending to favor : advantageous

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Other Words from propitious

propitiously adverb
propitiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for propitious

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

Did You Know?

Propitious, which comes to us through Middle English from the Latin word propitius (same meaning as "propitious"), is a synonym of "favorable" and "auspicious." All three essentially mean "pointing toward a happy outcome," with some differences of emphasis. "Favorable" implies that the persons involved in a situation are approving or helpful, or that circumstances are advantageous ("favorable weather conditions"). "Auspicious" usually applies to a sign or omen that promises success before or at the start of an event ("an auspicious beginning"). "Propitious" may also apply to beginnings, but it often suggests a continuing promising condition ("propitious conditions for an alliance").

Examples of propitious in a Sentence

Now is a propitious time to start a business. the success of the first big movie in May was a propitious start for the summer season of blockbusters
Recent Examples on the Web With Arce far ahead of Añez, MAS has suggested the government is waiting for a more propitious moment to hear from voters. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "Bolivia’s Covid-19 Election Nightmare Is a Warning," 30 July 2020 However, as the afternoon went on, conditions apparently became more propitious. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Mercury, despite a few doubts, hits 90 degrees here again on Friday," 11 July 2020 All of which comes at a propitious time for the league and its commissioner, Roger Goodell. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "The NFL is ready to score a huge payday after shaking off controversies," 30 Jan. 2020 The political calendar is tight, with the change of emperor this year and the Olympics in 2020, and the geopolitical environment is not propitious. The Economist, "Can Shinzo Abe change Japan’s basic law?," 10 Aug. 2019 And this will allow the $64,000 question to be answered: how propitious are astronomical circumstances for the development of life? The Economist, "Astronomers are probing faraway planets with greater sophistication," 3 Aug. 2019 The moment was propitious: GE just announced that its CFO is leaving, raising questions among money managers of bad news to come. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The Most Fascinating Standoff in Corporate America: The Accountant Who Exposed Madoff vs. GE," 17 Aug. 2019 Winning was his colossal if propitious miscalculation. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Interpreting the Trump Meteor," 18 Dec. 2018 So looked at one way, the sit down with Putin came at a propitious time. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump scores on his own goal," 16 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propitious.' 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 propitious

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for propitious

Middle English propycyous, from Anglo-French propicius, from Latin propitius, probably from pro- for + petere to seek — more at pro-, feather

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The first known use of propitious was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

14 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Propitious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce propitious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of propitious

formal : likely to have or produce good results

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Nglish: Translation of propitious for Spanish Speakers

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