Simple Definition of egregious
: very bad and easily noticed
Examples of egregious in a sentence
… the public perception is that too many corporate executives have committed egregious breaches of trust by cooking the books, shading the truth, and enriching themselves with huge stock-option profits while shareholders suffered breathtaking losses. —John A. Byrne et al., Business Week, 6 May 2002
History cannot be rewritten, but some of its more egregious errors can be corrected—at least in part, at least symbolically. … Or so assume a growing number of human-rights advocates. —Ellis Cose, Newsweek, 27 Aug. 2001
an egregious example of political bias
<the student's theme was marred by a number of egregious errors in spelling>
Did You Know?
Egregious derives from the Latin word egregius, meaning "distinguished" or "eminent." In its earliest English uses, egregious was a compliment to someone who had a remarkably good quality that placed him or her eminently above others. That's how English philosopher and theorist Thomas Hobbes used it in flattering a colleague when he remarked, "I am not so egregious a mathematician as you are." Since Hobbes' day, however, the meaning of the word has become noticeably less complimentary, possibly as a result of ironic use of its original sense.
Origin of egregious
Latin egregius, from e- + greg-, grex herd — more at gregarious
First Known Use: circa 1534
Legal Definition of egregious
: extremely and conspicuously bad
Seen and Heard
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