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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

In the ballet world, where binary gender roles have prevailed onstage and off, the statistics have been especially egregious. Amy Fine Collins, Marie Claire, "Female Choreographers Take Center Stage at American Ballet Theater," 10 Oct. 2018 Debt problems in Hunan, a rich agricultural area astride important transport routes, aren’t as egregious as many northern and western provinces saddled with resource and rust-belt industries. Chao Deng, WSJ, "China Rebukes Local Officials Over Debt Pile," 17 Sep. 2018 Those are quickly becoming table stakes for flagship smartphones, and their omission from OnePlus’ offering is only going to grow more egregious with time. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "OnePlus 6T review: revised formula, same results," 29 Oct. 2018 The only thing more egregious than tainting Friends' good name is, well, trying to stop a historically marginalized demographic from being able to choose who governs them. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Dear Georgia Republicans, Leave 'Friends' Alone," 23 Oct. 2018 Trump’s supporters don’t feel bad about laughing at egregious cruelty towards women or people of color because, as far as they’re concerned, those people are actively attacking them. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "We're Living in a Time of Cruel Laughing Men," 17 Oct. 2018 The most egregious crime was outright directing him where to point and shoot. Amy Fine Collins, Town & Country, "What It Was Like Dressing Up For Bill Cunningham," 15 Aug. 2018 Ouko is seven years into an eight-year term, and his office has been instrumental in bringing to light some of Kenya’s most egregious recent cases of corruption. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "Kenyans have had it with corruption. Their leaders may finally be doing something about it.," 13 July 2018 In one particularly egregious case, a hospice outfit in Texas has been accused by the federal government of giving patients unnecessarily high doses of medication that may have led to some deaths. Reed Abelson, New York Times, "When a Health Insurer Also Wants to Be a Hospice Company," 22 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for egregious

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for egregious

The first known use of egregious was circa 1534

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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

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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).


living or existing for a long time

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