Definition of augury in US English:



  • 1A sign of what will happen in the future; an omen.

    ‘they heard the sound as an augury of death’
    • ‘These are not convincing auguries of a great film.’
    • ‘Short of slaughtering a wild animal and rummaging about in its entrails, every sign, portent and augury had been examined beforehand.’
    • ‘They are also auguries of the future: what was won for women and for racial and ethnic minorities will surely be won, in the lifetimes of some of us, for gay and lesbian couples.’
    • ‘On the face of it, the auguries are not encouraging.’
    • ‘So the auguries are mixed for the latest exercise in consultation politics.’
    • ‘There is little demand for astrologers, because their auguries have no practical value.’
    • ‘Doran is due to reveal his creative vision next month but the auguries are unencouraging.’
    • ‘In a general sense it is an unfortunate omen which is sometimes taken as an augury of death.’
    • ‘Meteorologists have responded by transforming daily weather prediction from an augury into a reliable source of important information - a splendid achievement that nearly everyone takes for granted.’
    • ‘For one thing, political and economic auguries, specific market conditions, and likely future trends need all to be taken into account.’
    • ‘The auguries, in America at least, are not good.’
    • ‘It is hard to read the auguries, so complex is this interplay of deception, self-deception, bluster and bluff.’
    • ‘Amid the carnage and death, that unity is one augury of hope.’
    • ‘But the auguries for the future are more ambiguous.’
    omen, sign, indication, presage, warning, forewarning, harbinger, signal, promise, threat, menace, ill omen, forecast, prediction, prognostication, prophecy, straw in the wind, writing on the wall, hint, auspice
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    1. 1.1 The work of an augur; the interpretation of omens.
      • ‘A brace of dead geese, embodying the classical Roman method of augury, act as an image of mortality.’
      • ‘She was thrice widowed, and she claimed to possess the gift of augury.’
      • ‘And by the way, Ganesha is an icon of good augury in almost all Asian countries.’
      • ‘As Hamlet remarked, ‘We defy augury… The readiness is all’.’
      fortune telling, divining, foretelling the future, forecasting the future, prophecy, prediction, soothsaying
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘divination’): from Old French augurie or Latin augurium ‘interpretation of omens’, from augur (see augur).