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 Suppression of shareholder speech, if intentional, is egregious. Jerry Bowyer, National Review, "A Shareholder Asks Some Inconvenient Questions," 5 May 2021 There was an enjoyable casualness to the proceedings, but shoving the pre-recorded performances of the best original song nominees into this preshow was egregious and idiotic. Kelly Lawler, USA Today, "How the first (and hopefully last) pandemic Oscars went so terribly wrong," 26 Apr. 2021 That was particularly egregious in a weird kind of way. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Movies about the South should help us atone and come to terms with our past, author says," 22 Apr. 2021 In a divided media climate, there was unusual agreement that Chauvin's conduct was particularly egregious, and that it had been documented by the kind of video evidence not often available in such cases. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Media tenses up, then exhales as Derek Chauvin found guilty of George Floyd's murder," 21 Apr. 2021 The verdict today in Minnesota brings crucial accountability to an egregious act of police brutality. Jackie Borchardt, The Enquirer, "'Our system of justice worked': Ohio politicians praise 'bittersweet' verdict in Derek Chauvin trial," 20 Apr. 2021 His critics say studies don't support his policy and that the additional penalties add necessary prison time to punish egregious crimes. Brian Melley, Star Tribune, "Los Angeles DA faces resistance for criminal justice reforms," 25 Mar. 2021 The town’s most egregious crimes remain low, with no murders and one rape reported in the first six months of 2020. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Here’s how a small town is leaving the Broward Sheriff’s Office and starting its own police force," 5 Mar. 2021 Jim says these issues are particularly egregious for Native American tribes, like the Quapaw, who were forcibly moved to northeast Oklahoma in the 19th century. Popular Science, "Oklahoma floods are poisoning tribal lands," 23 Dec. 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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Egregious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for egregious



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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