Also, augur ill for; bode well or ill for. Have good (or bad) expectations for someone or something. For example, John's recovery from surgery augurs well for the team and The Republican victory in the Congressional elections bodes ill for affirmative action. The verb augur is derived from the Latin word for “soothsayer” (predictor of the future), a meaning perpetuated in this phrase and so used since the late 1700s. The verb bode comes from the Old English bodian, meaning “to announce or foretell,” and is rarely heard today except in this idiom, which dates from about 1700.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.