Definition of haruspication in English:



mass noun
  • (in ancient Rome) the interpretation of omens by inspecting the entrails of sacrificial animals.

    • ‘The Babylonians claimed that haruspication was the invention of the gods, and that the passions were housed not in the heart, but the liver.’
    • ‘Augustine was preaching on the duty his congregation had to conform with God's word: they must abstain from detestable pagan practices, divination, astrology, haruspication, and the like.’
    • ‘Haruspication has died out more completely than almost any magical rite.’
    • ‘The examination of the liver of a sacrificed sheep, haruspication, was learnt from the Mesopotamians.’
    • ‘Haruspication was at first adopted by the Romans but later fell into disrepute.’
    far-sightedness, foresight, foreknowledge
    View synonyms


Late 19th century: from haruspex + -ation.