1540s, from Latin augur, a religious official in ancient Rome who foretold events by observing and interpreting signs and omens, perhaps originally meaning "an increase in crops enacted in ritual," in which case it probably is from Old Latin *augos (genitive *augeris) "increase," and is related to augere "increase," from PIE root *aug- (1) "to increase." The more popular theory is that it is from Latin avis "bird," because the flights, singing, and feeding of birds were important objects of divination (compare auspex). In that case, the second element would be from garrire "to talk." Related: Augural; augurial.
c. 1600, "predict, prognosticate," from augur (n.). From 1826 as "betoken, forebode." Related: Augured; auguring.
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