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[huh-ruhs-peks, har-uh-speks] /həˈrʌs pɛks, ˈhær əˌspɛks/
noun, plural haruspices
[huh-ruhs-puh-seez] /həˈrʌs pəˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
(in ancient Rome) one of a class of minor priests who practiced divination, especially from the entrails of animals killed in sacrifice.
Also, aruspex.
Origin of haruspex
1575-85; < Latin, equivalent to haru- (akin to hīra intestine; see chord1) + spec- (stem of specere to look at) + -s nominative singular ending Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for haruspex
Historical Examples
  • "He is indispensable to us at this time," said the haruspex.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • During this speech the haruspex had frequently shrugged his shoulders.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • The haruspex ordered that the "ill-used man" should be set at liberty.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • "So long as you are our leader, certainly," cried the haruspex.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • Manlius assisted in bringing the animals selected for victims to the haruspex.

  • The haruspex submitted, though deeply vexed, and asked whether the guilty boys were also to go unpunished.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • No Etruscan haruspex or Roman augur could wish for clearer omens: it reads like a page of Livy.

  • Cato, the Censor, is on record as saying "that he wondered how one haruspex could look another in the face without laughing!"

    Wind and Weather Alexander McAdie
  • Thereupon, Roman haruspex looked into the eyes of Roman haruspex, and they both laughed.

    The House of Mystery William Henry Irwin
British Dictionary definitions for haruspex


noun (pl) haruspices (həˈrʌspɪˌsiːz)
(in ancient Rome) a priest who practised divination, esp by examining the entrails of animals
Derived Forms
haruspical (həˈrʌspɪkəl) adjective
haruspicy (həˈrʌspɪsɪ) noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, probably from hīra gut + specere to look
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 haruspex

1580s, from Latin haruspex (plural haruspices) "soothsayer by means of entrails," first element from PIE *ghere- "gut, entrail" (see yarn); second element from Latin spic- "beholding, inspecting" (see inspect). The practice is Etruscan. Related: Haruspical; haruspication.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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