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

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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 But the omens do look propitious for the Democrats. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2021 Rogers, who won the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and the 2020 CFDA American Emerging Designer of the Year awards, is firmly established in his own right, but the timing of the collaboration with the TV show could not have been more propitious. Fawnia Soo Hoo,, 7 July 2021 Yet in another sense, his timing was propitious, and few were better equipped to tap into the psychological currents that coursed below the postwar surface., 1 July 2021 This is a propitious time to push forward toward black reparations. William Darity, Rolling Stone, 19 June 2021 His ascension is a disappointment for anyone who believed that this was a propitious time for peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Raja Shehadeh, The New Yorker, 8 June 2021 The best case is that conditions in America, rather than being dire, are so propitious that these levels of spending can be absorbed without anything going wrong. Rich Lowry, National Review, 4 May 2021 That is hardly a propitious trait for the custodians of institutions that are, though they are run like businesses and treated as entertainment complexes, also cultural and social touchstones. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2021 Hayes’s background as a physician and lodge owner has been propitious. Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2021

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

27 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Propitious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of propitious

: likely to have or produce good results

More from Merriam-Webster on propitious

Nglish: Translation of propitious for Spanish Speakers


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