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auspex

[aw-speks] /ˈɔ spɛks/
noun, plural auspices
[aw-spuh-seez] /ˈɔ spəˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
1.
an augur of ancient Rome.
Origin
1590-1600
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
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for auspex

auspex

/ˈɔːspɛks/
noun (pl) auspices (ˈɔːspɪˌsiːz)
1.
(Roman history) another word for augur (sense 1)
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
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Word Origin and History for auspex
n.

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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