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[aw-speks] /ˈɔ spɛks/
noun, plural auspices
[aw-spuh-seez] /ˈɔ spəˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
an augur of ancient Rome.
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


[aw-spis] /ˈɔ spɪs/
noun, plural auspices
[aw-spuh-siz] /ˈɔ spə sɪz/ (Show IPA)
Usually, auspices. patronage; support; sponsorship:
under the auspices of the Department of Education.
Often, auspices. a favorable sign or propitious circumstance.
a divination or prognostication, originally from observing birds.
1525-35; < French < Latin auspicium a bird-watching, divination from flight of birds, equivalent to auspic- (stem of auspex) + -ium -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for auspices
  • The diving that occurs under Smithsonian auspices is called scientific diving.
  • Many of the future technologies discussed are being developed under the auspices of legitimate programs with beneficial outputs.
  • She works under his auspices.
  • He had also toured under the auspices of a nationally recognized radio network.
  • It quickly became a model for many federal programs under the auspices of the Johnson administration's war on poverty.
  • She was appointed last year, and the first Oxford dictionary created under her auspices will hit stores next month.
  • The international auspices were favorable.
  • Hill was making regular payments under the auspices of the bankruptcy court.
  • It could be done through private channels or, better, under the auspices of the federal government.
  • Never did a government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete.
British Dictionary definitions for auspices


noun (pl) auspices (ˈɔːspɪˌsiːz)
(Roman history) another word for augur (sense 1)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: observer of birds, from avis bird + specere to look


noun (pl) -pices (-pɪsɪz)
(usually pl) patronage or guidance (esp in the phrase under the auspices of)
(often pl) a sign or omen, esp one that is favourable
Word Origin
C16: from Latin auspicium augury from birds; see auspex
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 auspices

plural (and now the usual form) of auspice; 1530s, "observation of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from French auspice (14c.), from Latin auspicum "function of an auspex" (q.v.). Meaning "any indication of the future (especially favorable)" is from 1650s; earlier (1630s) in extended sense of "benevolent influence of greater power, influence exerted on behalf of someone or something," originally in expression under the auspices of.



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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