egre·​gious | \ i-ˈgrē-jəs How to pronounce egregious (audio) \

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 Gottfried received news of that egregious allegation in Los Angeles. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Rick Pitino skates -- again -- while Louisville sweats in broken NCAA justice system," 11 May 2020 Fox News does not care about #MeToo, but the story damages Biden, demoralizes Democrats, and makes liberals look like egregious hypocrites. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "The angst over Joe Biden's assault allegation has an easy resolution," 2 May 2020 If minimizing the death toll and the number of people infected is the most important thing, then decisions to rush back toward normal will count as especially egregious. cleveland, "With coronavirus still spreading and killing, now’s not the time to rush back to normal," 29 Apr. 2020 Nothing has changed today except that the public has lost its own revulsion at this egregious behavior. WSJ, "Touchdown Dancing Is a Sign of Our Times," 5 Feb. 2020 The most egregious mulching errors may kill a tree in a few years, but frequently the specimens limp along for a decade before giving up the ghost. cleveland, "Avoid mulching mistakes and better care for your trees," 23 Apr. 2020 But mandamus is a remedy reserved for egregious errors and abuses of discretion, and the decision to seek mandamus calls for consideration of the totality of the circumstances. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Justice Department Declines to Support Blocking Hillary Clinton Deposition," 14 Apr. 2020 On March 11, China’s People (Renwu) magazine published an interview with Li’s colleague Dr. Ai Fen, exposing the egregious behavior of officials at their hospital. Jiwei Xiao, The New York Review of Books, "Fearing For My Mother in Wuhan, Facing a New Sinophobia in the US," 6 Apr. 2020 About the only thing that could have extended the game was a foul on a 3-pointer, and USA’s John Pettway committed the egregious error on a Jalen Johnson miss, sending Johnson to the line. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Short-handed South Alabama holds off Louisiana in wild 78-75 victory," 13 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for egregious

Time Traveler

The first known use of egregious was circa 1534

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Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Egregious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for egregious


How to pronounce egregious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of egregious

formal : very bad and easily noticed


egre·​gious | \ i-ˈgrē-jəs How to pronounce egregious (audio) \

Legal Definition of egregious

: extremely and conspicuously bad

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