[ huh-ruhs-peks, har-uh-speks ]
/ həˈrʌs pɛks, ˈhær əˌspɛks /

noun, plural ha·rus·pi·ces [huh-ruhs-puh-seez] /həˈrʌs pəˌsiz/.

(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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for haruspex


/ (həˈrʌspɛks) /

noun plural haruspices (həˈrʌspɪˌsiːz)

(in ancient Rome) a priest who practised divination, esp by examining the entrails of animals
Derived Formsharuspical (həˈrʌspɪkəl), adjectiveharuspicy (həˈrʌspɪsɪ), noun

Word Origin for haruspex

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

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