Word of the Day

: April 13, 2018


noun EE-jus

What It Means

1 : a shield or breastplate emblematic of majesty that was associated with Zeus and Athena

2 a : protection

b : controlling or conditioning influence

3 a : auspices, sponsorship

b : control or guidance especially by an individual, group, or system

aegis in Context

The matter will be dealt with under the aegis of the ethics committee.

"The security office is not part of the main White House staff operation. Located outside the West Wing, it has an independent director who is not a political appointee. Its work, however, falls under the broader aegis of the White House chief of staff's office." — Anne Gearan, The Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2018

Did You Know?

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, and it has been depicted in various ways, including as a magical protective cloak made from the skin of the goat that suckled Zeus as an infant and as a shield fashioned by Hephaestus that bore the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa. The word first entered English in the 15th century as a noun referring to the shield or protective garment associated with Zeus or Athena. It later took on a more general sense of "protection" and, by the late-19th century, it had acquired the extended senses of "auspices" and "sponsorship."

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of aegis that refers to a guiding influence: t _ _ ela _ e.



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