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(pronounced aw-gust)  adjective


1. inspiring reverence; esteemed; awesome; magnificent or majestic. 2. venerable; commanding respect because of age, dignity, character, or high position.

Main Example

  • The U.N. has described Myanmar’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingya, which has resulted in over 400,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh, as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Yet, in her first ever and highly anticipated statement on the subject, Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi sounded strangely detached and blissfully ignorant, as if she had just returned from another planet. Some of the words in that imperiously delivered speech: “We are concerned to hear that a number of Muslims are fleeing across the border...We want to find out why this exodus is happening. We’d like to talk to those who have fled...” In this author’s opinion, Suu Kyi now stands shorn of the halo, the majesty, and the augustness that she once possessed. Unquestionably, hers has been a precipitous fall from grace.

Workplace Examples

  • Our CEO has an awesome personality...a really august presence. I bet even our most experienced managers are a bit daunted and subdued when presenting to him.
  • Oh, so your first ever visit to New York City was in December 2001? It’s a pity that you never got to see the august towers of the World Trade Center--they were a sight to behold.

Other Examples

  • a colleague saying to a new employee, with humor: “No, I never get to visit the top floor. You do know that is the august precincts of the company’s top management!”
  • the august personage of the pope, or of the Dalai Lama; the august and stately bearing of Queen Elizabeth II
  • The Economist--an august weekly magazine; the Dow Jones Industrial Average comprising some of the most august firms in corporate America; Columbia, Harvard, and Yale standing as three of the world’s most august seats of learning; the Juilliard School and the U.S. Supreme Court regarded as august institutions
  • visitors inside an ancient Egyptian tomb speaking in hushed tones, thanks to its augustness
  • According to the late Michael Deaver and other former long-time White House officials, President Reagan never removed his suit jacket in the Oval Office because he regarded it to be so august a place.

© 2018 V.J. Singal
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