egre·gious | \i-ˈgrē-jəs \

Definition of egregious 

1 : conspicuous especially : conspicuously bad : flagrant egregious errors egregious padding of the evidence — Christopher Hitchens

2 archaic : distinguished

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from egregious

egregiously adverb
egregiousness noun

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.

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In perhaps the most egregious breach, Trump sought donations from the public at a 2016 Iowa fundraiser for veterans’ groups and then funneled roughly half of the proceeds to the foundation. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Donald Trump’s charity is an ‘empty shell.’," 14 June 2018 For gun-control advocates, though,Trump’s inaction is made particularly egregious by his occasional flirtation with school-safety models that are unproven at best and absurd at worst. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Trump Administration's Approach to School Violence Is More Style Than Substance," 2 June 2018 The denial of evolution and of global warming and the pushback against stem cell research are the most egregious examples in recent decades. Michael Shermer, Scientific American, "Science Denial versus Science Pleasure," 1 Jan. 2018 Much of the conversation on Capitol Hill regarding opioids has centered on particularly egregious examples of opioid oversupply — which lawmakers have blamed on drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, doctors, and the DEA itself. Lev Facher, STAT, "System for reporting suspicious opioid orders repeatedly failed, report finds," 12 July 2018 And the process repeats itself, getting worse and more egregious each time. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Why the ‘Cult of Trump’ Has Taken Hold," 7 Feb. 2018 And some users were just really concerned about the teacher's egregious spelling mistake. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "A Teacher Wrote the Most Offensive Letter Home About a Little Girl's Hair," 18 Oct. 2016 But even among this throng of flashy ailments, Detroit’s car-insurance problem looks egregious. The Economist, "Why Detroit is the most expensive city in America to buy car insurance," 5 July 2018 The site can think about what the role of a dictionary is within a more active Internet (like correcting egregious and highly public misuses of language, perhaps?). Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "By defining “l33t” and “Thanks Obama,” became the Web’s reference," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'egregious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of egregious

circa 1534, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for egregious

Latin egregius, from e- + greg-, grex herd — more at gregarious

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about egregious

Listen to Our Podcast about egregious

Dictionary Entries near egregious



ego trip





Statistics for egregious

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for egregious

The first known use of egregious was circa 1534

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for egregious



English Language Learners Definition of egregious

: very bad and easily noticed


egre·gious | \i-ˈgrē-jəs \

Legal Definition of egregious 

: extremely and conspicuously bad

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on egregious

What made you want to look up egregious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!