noun, plural auspices [aw-spuh-seez] .
an augur of ancient Rome.

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 Unabridged


[aw-spis] .
noun, plural auspices [aw-spuh-siz] .
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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
auspex (ˈɔːspɛks)
n , pl auspices
Roman history another word for augur
[C16: from Latin: observer of birds, from avis bird + specere to look]

auspice (ˈɔːspɪs)
n , pl -pices
1.  (usually plural) patronage or guidance (esp in the phrase under the auspices of)
2.  (often plural) a sign or omen, esp one that is favourable
[C16: from Latin auspicium augury from birds; see auspex]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1590s, "one who observes flights of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from L. avispex, from PIE *awi-spek- "observer of birds," from *awi- "bird" + *spek- "to see." Connection between birds and omens also is in Gk. oionos "bird of prey, bird of omen, omen," and ornis "bird," which also could mean

pl. (and now the usual form) of auspice; 1530s, "observation of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from Fr. auspice (14c.), from L. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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