Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Auspicious


The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is auspicious. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Something described as auspicious is full of promise, showing or suggesting that future success or good results are likely. Auspicious can also mean “attended by good fortune.”

// The young musician’s auspicious debut album reveals her songwriting as already more accomplished than that of artists twice her age and stature.

// The high school gymnast had quite the auspicious year, taking gold or silver in nearly every competition.


“[Bassist, Ron] Carter turned 85 on May 4. To celebrate the milestone, he held a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall, performing with three different ensembles. … An elegant man of demure stature, Carter couldn’t have picked a more appropriate venue for this auspicious occasion than Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. From the first song of the night with his Golden Striker Trio, it was evident that the audience had come not just for jazz, but for Black American classical music.” — Matthew Allen,, 11 May 2022

Did You Know?

Some word knowledge to crow about in your next tweetstormauspicious comes from Latin auspex, which literally means “bird seer” (from the words avis, meaning “bird,” and specere, meaning “to look at”). In ancient Rome, these “bird seers” were priests or augurs who studied the flight and feeding patterns of birds, then delivered prophecies based on their observations. The right combination of bird behavior indicated favorable conditions, but the wrong patterns spelled trouble. The English noun auspice, which originally referred to this practice of observing birds to discover omens, also comes from Latin auspex. Today, the plural form auspices is often used with the meaning “kindly support and guidance.”

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