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noun, plural aus·pi·ces [aw-spuh-seez] /ˈɔ spəˌsiz/.
  1. an augur of ancient Rome.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


British Dictionary definitions for auspex


noun plural auspices (ˈɔːspɪˌsiːz)
  1. Roman history another word for augur (def. 1)
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin: observer of birds, from avis bird + 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

Word Origin and History for auspex


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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper