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[huh-ruhs-peks, har-uh-speks] /həˈrʌs pɛks, ˈhær əˌspɛks/
noun, plural haruspices
[huh-ruhs-puh-seez] /həˈrʌs pəˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
(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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for haruspex
Historical Examples
  • The haruspex submitted, though deeply vexed, and asked whether the guilty boys were also to go unpunished.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • "He is indispensable to us at this time," said the haruspex.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • No Etruscan haruspex or Roman augur could wish for clearer omens: it reads like a page of Livy.

  • The haruspex ordered that the "ill-used man" should be set at liberty.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • Cato, the Censor, is on record as saying "that he wondered how one haruspex could look another in the face without laughing!"

    Wind and Weather Alexander McAdie
  • "So long as you are our leader, certainly," cried the haruspex.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • Thereupon, Roman haruspex looked into the eyes of Roman haruspex, and they both laughed.

    The House of Mystery William Henry Irwin
  • Manlius assisted in bringing the animals selected for victims to the haruspex.

  • During this speech the haruspex had frequently shrugged his shoulders.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • "Hatred speaks in thee," said the haruspex, interrupting the indignant old man.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
British Dictionary definitions for haruspex


noun (pl) haruspices (həˈrʌspɪˌsiːz)
(in ancient Rome) a priest who practised divination, esp by examining the entrails of animals
Derived Forms
haruspical (həˈrʌspɪkəl) adjective
haruspicy (həˈrʌspɪsɪ) noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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