Definition of propitious
- propitious sign
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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
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.
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").
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to lessen the seriousness or strength of
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