from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive v. To predict, especially from signs or omens; foretell. See Synonyms at foretell.
  • transitive v. To serve as an omen of; betoken: trends that augur change in society.
  • intransitive v. To make predictions from signs or omens.
  • intransitive v. To be a sign or omen: A smooth dress rehearsal augured well for the play.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • intransitive v. To conjecture from signs or omens; to prognosticate; to foreshow.
  • intransitive v. To anticipate, to foretell, or to indicate a favorable or an unfavorable issue.
  • transitive v. To predict or foretell, as from signs or omens; to betoken; to presage; to infer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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. 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.
  • n. Hence One who pretends to foretell future events by omens; a soothsayer; a prophet; one who bodes, forebodes, or portends.

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

  • v. predict from an omen
  • n. (ancient Rome) a religious official who interpreted omens to guide public policy
  • v. indicate by signs


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

Middle English, from Latin; see aug- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin augur, of uncertain origin; akin to augurō ("interpret omens").



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  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for the phrase "Authority can be given". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 20, 2013

  • The Augur (pl: augurs) was a priest and official in the classical world, especially ancient Rome. His main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of the birds (flying in groups/alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are), known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society--public or private--including matters of war, commerce, and religion.

    The derivation of the word augur is uncertain; ancient authors believed that it contained the words avi and gero --Latin for "directing the birds"--but historical-linguistic evidence points instead to the root aug-, "to increase, to prosper."


    February 6, 2008