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From Latin haruspicium, from haruspex (diviner of entrails) + -ium (forming abstract nouns).



haruspicy (countable and uncountable, plural haruspicies)

  1. The study and divination by use of animal entrails, usually the victims of sacrifice.
    • 1807, Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary, Volume 1, Whitehall, page 238:
      Different kinds of divination, which have passed for sciences, we have had: [] 6. Haruspicy, by inspecting the bowels of animals. []
    • 1825, Horace Smith, Gaieties and Gravities: A Series of Essays, Comic Tales, and Fugitive Vagaries, Volume II, H. Colburn, page 333:
      That our fates should be made dependent upon the stars, planets, and constellations, however preposterous a conceit, at least imparts a dignity to our nature by conjoining earth with Heaven: but that the doom of kings, empires, and individuals, should be regulated [] by the entrails of victims, as analysed by the butchers of Haruspicy [] is an evidence of stupid credulity that levels civilised man to the savage []