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[aw-ger] /ˈɔ gər/
one of a group of ancient Roman officials charged with observing and interpreting omens for guidance in public affairs.
soothsayer; prophet.
verb (used with object)
to divine or predict, as from omens; prognosticate.
to serve as an omen or promise of; foreshadow; betoken:
Mounting sales augur a profitable year.
verb (used without object)
to conjecture from signs or omens; predict.
to be a sign; bode:
The movement of troops augurs ill for the peace of the area.
Origin of augur1
1540-50; < Latin augur (variant of auger) a diviner, soothsayer, derivative of augēre to augment with orig. implication of “prosper”; cf. august
Can be confused
auger, augur.


[aw-ger] /ˈɔ gər/ Western U.S.
verb (used without object)
to argue, talk, or converse.
an excessively talkative person.
1920-25; metathetic variant of argue; noun perhaps by association with auger
Can be confused
auger, augur. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for augur
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The elder was an invalid, who never held any office except that of augur, and died at an early age.

    Cato Maior de Senectute Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Chipping it with an adze, and boring it with an augur, to ascertain its quality.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Az a general thing, the bigger the augur iz, the bigger the hole, unless you bore into a mill pond.

    Josh Billings on Ice Henry Wheeler Shaw
  • In so far their suggestion would not augur well for the execution.

    Face to Face with Kaiserism James W. Gerard
  • Bore ten holes (with a 1/4-inch augur) equi-distant apart through the 20-foot strips and the 10-foot strip under them.

    Flying Machines W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
British Dictionary definitions for augur


Also called auspex. (in ancient Rome) a religious official who observed and interpreted omens and signs to help guide the making of public decisions
any prophet or soothsayer
to predict (some future event), as from signs or omens
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to be an omen (of); presage
(intransitive) to foreshadow future events to be as specified; bode: this augurs well for us
Derived Forms
augural (ˈɔːɡjʊrəl) adjective
augurship, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: a diviner, perhaps from augēre to increase
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 augur

1540s, from Latin augur, a religious official in ancient Rome who foretold events by interpreting omens, perhaps originally meaning "an increase in crops enacted in ritual," in which case it probably is from Old Latin *augos (genitive *augeris) "increase," and is related to augere "increase" (see augment). The more popular theory is that it is from Latin avis "bird," because the flights, singing, and feeding of birds, along with entrails from bird sacrifices, were important objects of divination (cf. auspicious). In that case, the second element would be from garrire "to talk."


c.1600, from augur (n.). Related: Augured; auguring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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