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[aw-speks] /ˈɔ spɛks/
noun, plural auspices
[aw-spuh-seez] /ˈɔ spəˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
an augur of ancient Rome.
Origin of auspex
1590-1600; < Latin: one who observes birds, soothsayer, diviner, equivalent to au-, base of avis bird + -spex watcher (spec-, stem of specere to look at) + -s nominative singular suffix


[aw-spis] /ˈɔ spɪs/
noun, plural auspices
[aw-spuh-siz] /ˈɔ spə sɪz/ (Show IPA)
Usually, auspices. patronage; support; sponsorship:
under the auspices of the Department of Education.
Often, auspices. a favorable sign or propitious circumstance.
a divination or prognostication, originally from observing birds.
1525-35; < French < Latin auspicium a bird-watching, divination from flight of birds, equivalent to auspic- (stem of auspex) + -ium -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for auspices
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Having got the promise of them from Agesilaus, he proceeded to take the auspices.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • It will be an advantage to him, in a way, to have sung under the auspices of our committee.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • Do we not serve under Aemilius Paullus and his Illyrian auspices?

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne
  • They starved, or they performed or exhibited 'under the auspices of.'

  • The auspices ceased to be taken at marriages from the time of Cicero.


    William Graham Sumner
  • Paris saw most of his moneythe Paris which, under his auspices, Doggie never knew.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
British Dictionary definitions for auspices


noun (pl) auspices (ˈɔːspɪˌsiːz)
(Roman history) another word for augur (sense 1)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: observer of birds, from avis bird + specere to look


noun (pl) -pices (-pɪsɪz)
(usually pl) patronage or guidance (esp in the phrase under the auspices of)
(often pl) a sign or omen, esp one that is favourable
Word Origin
C16: from Latin auspicium augury from birds; see auspex
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for auspices

plural (and now the usual form) of auspice; 1530s, "observation of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from French auspice (14c.), from Latin auspicum "function of an auspex" (q.v.). Meaning "any indication of the future (especially favorable)" is from 1650s; earlier (1630s) in extended sense of "benevolent influence of greater power, influence exerted on behalf of someone or something," originally in expression under the auspices of.



1590s, "one who observes flights of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from Latin auspex "interpreter of omens given by birds," from PIE *awi-spek- "observer of birds," from *awi- "bird" (see aviary) + *spek- "to see" (see scope (n.1)). Connection between birds and omens also is in Greek oionos "bird of prey, bird of omen, omen," and ornis "bird," which also could mean "omen."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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