ar·​rant ˈa-rənt How to pronounce arrant (audio)
: being notoriously without moderation : extreme
we are arrant knaves, all; believe none of usWilliam Shakespeare
arrantly adverb

Examples of arrant in a Sentence

that statement is complete and arrant nonsense
Recent Examples on the Web Some are just arrant fantasy. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 9 Mar. 2021 Well, both of those statements are arrant nonsense. CBS News, 19 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arrant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English arraunt, variant of erraunt "wandering, itinerant" (reflecting lowering of ĕ to ă before r); arraunt, erraunt in sense "notorious, reprobate" (hence, "extreme") from its use in the collocation theef erraunt, erraunt theif "outlawed robber roaming the country" — more at errant

Note: The two spellings arrant and errant (and presumably the associated pronunciations) were used indiscriminately into the 17th century, after which arrant became limited to its current meaning; since Robert Baker's Reflections on the English Language (1770), usage commentators have considered errant in the sense "arrant" as an error.

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of arrant was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near arrant

Cite this Entry

“Arrant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


ar·​rant ˈar-ənt How to pronounce arrant (audio)
: out-and-out, complete
an arrant fool
arrantly adverb
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