American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One of a group of ancient Roman religious officials who foretold events by observing and interpreting signs and omens.
- n. A seer or prophet; a soothsayer.
- v. To predict, especially from signs or omens; foretell. See Synonyms at foretell.
- v. To serve as an omen of; betoken: trends that augur change in society.
- v. To make predictions from signs or omens.
- v. To be a sign or omen: A smooth dress rehearsal augured well for the play.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Among the ancient Romans, a functionary whose duty it was to observe and to interpret, according to traditional rules, the auspices, or reputed natural signs concerning future events. These auspices were studied, with a fixed ceremonial, in the following classes of phenomena: signs from the heavens, including thunder and lightining, and other meteorological manifestations; signs from the direction of flight or the various cries of birds; signs from the manner of eating of domestic hens kept for this purpose; signs from the movements and attitudes of animals; evil omens from various fortuitous incidents, such as the fall of any object, the gnawing of a mouse, the creaking of a chair, etc., occurring during the augural ceremonies, or when these were about to begin. The official or public augurs, who constituted a college, probably founded by Numa, were originally three in number. By the time of Tarquin they had been increased to six. After 300 B. C. the number became nine, of whom five must be plebeians. Sulla made the number fifteen; Julius Cæsar, sixteen, not including his own official membership in his character of perpetual chief priest and dictator; and toward the close of the empire the number was still further increased. The augurs wore the sacerdotal prætexta, or toga with a broad purple border, and their distinctive emblem was the curved rod called the lituus, with which they marked out the limits of the templum or boundary within which the omens with which they had to do were to be observed. Before any public business or ceremony was undertaken the augurs decided whether the auspices were propitious, or whether unfavorable omens demanded interruption or delay; they conducted the inauguration or exauguration of priests, temples, and places, such as new settlements, and fixed the times of movable festivals. In the engraving, the figure holds the lituus in his right hand, while one of the sacred fowls appears at his feet.
- n. Hence One who pretends to foretell future events by omens; a soothsayer; a prophet; one who bodes, forebodes, or portends.
- To prognosticate from signs, omens, or indications; predict; anticipate: with a personal subject.
- To betoken; forebode: with a non-personal or impersonal subject.
- Synonyms To portend, presage, foreshadow, be ominous of.
- To conjecture from signs or omens.
- To be a sign; bode: with well or ill.
- n. A diviner who foretells events by the behaviour of birds or other animals, or by signs derived from celestial phenomena, or unusual occurrences.
- n. An official who interpreted omens before the start of public events.
- v. To foretell events; to exhibit signs of future events.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rom. Antiq.) An official diviner who foretold events by the singing, chattering, flight, and feeding of birds, or by signs or omens derived from celestial phenomena, certain appearances of quadrupeds, or unusual occurrences.
- n. One who foretells events by omens; a soothsayer; a diviner; a prophet.
- v. To conjecture from signs or omens; to prognosticate; to foreshow.
- v. To anticipate, to foretell, or to indicate a favorable or an unfavorable issue.
- v. To predict or foretell, as from signs or omens; to betoken; to presage; to infer.
- v. predict from an omen
- n. (ancient Rome) a religious official who interpreted omens to guide public policy
- v. indicate by signs
- From Latin augur, of uncertain origin; akin to augurō ("interpret omens"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Latin; see aug- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Sura xxvii. 48; vii. 128, where, as in this passage, the word augur refers to the mode of divination practised previous to Islam, by the flight of birds.”
“You haven't ever had it that much better and any change that works for customers longer-term augur well for everybody.”
“My point is "augur" is the operative word in that analysis.”
“And it has a tool, which will be able to kind of augur into them, and peek at those rocks, get a sense of what they have to say because they do tell a story about what happened to the water.”
“He is really the religious head of the community, a kind of augur and prophet, who consults the gods and communicates to the people the answers he claims to have received.”
“It doesn't augur well for Venezuela," says Roger Noriega, a former high-ranking state department official during the Bush administration.”
“If it does, it means that the economy will be performing very badly also, which does not augur well for the stock market, the supposed great alternative solution.”
“Carney used to be one of us, which might augur that the mutual loathing of the White House media team and some of those in the press corps - a situation that doubtless has boosted Obama's poll numbers - might ease somewhat.”
“The SEC has the power to ask FINRA to make changes, but the lukewarm comments and the clear advances that the rule filing offers augur for a fast approval.”
“Though the past is not an absolute predictor or augur of the future, the thought of greater conflagrations cannot be dismissed.”
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