Definitions

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

  • adj. Presenting favorable circumstances; auspicious. See Synonyms at favorable.
  • adj. Kindly; gracious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Favorable; benevolent (e.g. propitious weather)
  • adj. Favorably disposed towards someone.
  • adj. Advantageous.
  • adj. Characteristic of a good omen: auspicious.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Convenient; auspicious; favorable; kind
  • adj. Hence, kind; gracious; merciful; helpful; -- said of a person or a divinity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Favorably disposed; ready to grant a favor or indulgence; kind; disposed to be gracious or merciful; ready to forgive and bestow favors.
  • Affording favorable conditions or circumstances; favorable: as, a propitious season.
  • Synonyms Gracious, benign.
  • Auspicious, Propitious, promising. Auspicious cannot be safely used in any meaning beyond that of giving omen or indication of success; an auspicious event is one that seems an omen of prosperity for that which follows. Auspicious could be applied to a person only by a highly figurative use of the word. The earlier tendency to use the word outside of the limits here indicated is not now sanctioned by good usage. Propitious applies primarily to persons, but may be freely extended by figure to things. Propitious goes beyond auspicious in representing a benign disposition and manner, leading one to expect a kind reception and help.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. presenting favorable circumstances; likely to result in or show signs of success

Etymologies

Middle English propicius, from Old French propicieux, from Latin propitius; see pet- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French propicius, from Latin propitius ("favorable, well-disposed, kind") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The fates were again propitious for a brief period; but again a trivial incident interfered.

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • Pagondas refers to propitious victims of sacrifice before battle, 4.92.7

    THE LANDMARK THUCYDIDES

  • Today, however, the outlook can hardly be called propitious for the formation of a national consensus anywhere in the industrial world, and the chances for an equitable international sharing of wealth seem hopeless.

    An Exchange on The Human Prospect

  • Fabulous diction, excellent vocabulary, I'm inspired to add "propitious" and "persiflage" into my daily rhetoric.

    Easter Away!

  • The cover or lid of the ark is termed in the LXX. hilasterion, that which covered or shut out the claims and demands of the law against the sins of God's people, whereby he became "propitious" to them.

    Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • I will be merciful -- Greek, "propitious"; the Hebrew, "salach," is always used of God only in relation to men. and their iniquities -- not found in Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and one oldest Greek manuscript; but most oldest manuscripts have the words

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • But the talks underway now could also allow Washington to generate a climate "propitious" for help on other issues where it needs Moscow's support, such as Iran and North Korea's controversial nuclear programmes, said Goldblat who is based at the Geneva International Peace Research institute.

    Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense

  • Noting that it is primarily the responsibility of the Government and its national partners to create the "propitious" conditions for the elections, he commends political leaders for adopting an electoral code that enjoys wide consensus and is encouraged by President Pierre Nkurunziza's assurance that the polls will be free, fair and peaceful.

    Elections - fresh news by plazoo.com

  • The virtue of Christ’s sacrifice is to pacify justice and make God propitious, that is, favourable and merciful to sinners.

    The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

  • "propitious" because it could help governments and NGOs to identify hindrances to achieving the UN's Millennium Development goals.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

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Comments

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  • Used on 20 MAR 11

    March 21, 2011

  • I hate this word...at the California State Spelling Bee...I missed this word by ONE LETTER...I could have had a $250 dollar savings bond. Ugh.

    December 13, 2010