Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A priest in ancient Rome who practiced divination by the inspection of the entrails of animals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A soothsayer or priest in Ancient Rome (originally Etruscan) who practiced divination by inspecting entrails.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of a class of minor priests or soothsayers in ancient Rome, of Etrurian origin, whose function it was to inspect the entrails of victims killed in sacrifice, and by them, as well as by certain natural phenomena, to interpret the will of the gods.

Etymologies

Latin; see gherə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from Latin haruspex. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Winding through this timberland of wind catchers, Ken stops to point out the original seed, the squat "blunderbuss," a ducted turbine installed in 1926 by one Dew Oliver, who raised $12 million for his scheme, but ended up convicted of fraud, though today he would not only be absolved, but crowned a haruspex, the Benjamin Graham of energy pickers.

    Richard Bangs: How Green Is My Valley?

  • The word was haruspex, not disemboweler, the robot told Glenn.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • In the hills near Rome in 70 BC, Tarquinius, a slave proud of his Etruscan heritage and trained as the last Etruscan haruspex soothsayer, leaves the estate when his mentor is killed on the orders of a Roman noble.

    The Forgotten Legion, by Ben Kane. Book review

  • Cato mirari se aiebat quod non ridere haruspex haruspicem cum videret.

    Latin Quotations | Impact Lab

  • When presented with a new dictionary, I always look up the word haruspex.

    Rambles at starchamber.com » Blog Archive » Desperately seeking “Qatar”

  • Not surprisingly, then, he searches like a haruspex through various sexual clues scattered in the available material.

    The Loser's Loser

  • It was a case where neither could say anything to the other, though Cato might wonder _quod non rideret haruspex, haruspicem cum vidisset_.

    The Book-Hunter A New Edition, with a Memoir of the Author

  • Per idem tempus Uticae forte G. Mario per hostias dis supplicanti, magna atque mirabilia portendi haruspex dixerat; proinde, quae animo agitabat, [334] fretus dis ageret, fortunam quam saepissime experiretur, cuncta prospere eventura.

    C. Sallusti Crispi De Bello Catilinario Et Jugurthino

  • [334] _Agitabat_ does not express the sentiment of the haruspex; for if so, the verb would be in the subjunctive.

    C. Sallusti Crispi De Bello Catilinario Et Jugurthino

  • The complications and ramifications of the augur's art are infinite, but the main idea should by now be plain, and it must be remembered that the kindred art of the soothsayer (_haruspex_), oracles, and the interpretation of fate by the drawing of lots (_sortes_) are all later foreign introductions: auspice and augury are the only genuine Roman methods for interpreting the will of the gods.

    The Religion of Ancient Rome

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Comments

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  • Funnily enough I have, and recently too.

    April 9, 2010

  • If only I had the opportunity to use this word in normal conversation...

    April 9, 2010

  • It is rather cool. :) But the poor, poor animals. You just know they were going around killing any animal they could see...

    November 24, 2009

  • i like this word - i have it in an old 40s dictionary.

    July 3, 2009

  • a diviner in ancient Rome basing his predictions on inspection of the entrails of sacrificial animals.--- anyone else find that cool!

    Swany
    www.Swany.cc

    October 25, 2007