adjective egre·gious \i-ˈgrē-jəs\

Definition of egregious

  1. 1 archaic :  distinguished

  2. 2 :  conspicuous; especially :  conspicuously bad :  flagrant egregious errors egregious padding of the evidence — Christopher Hitchens





egregious was our Word of the Day on 11/10/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of egregious in a Sentence

  1. … 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

  2. 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

  3. an egregious example of political bias

  4. the student's theme was marred by a number of egregious errors in spelling

Recent Examples of egregious from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of egregious

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

First Known Use: circa 1534

EGREGIOUS Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of egregious for English Language Learners

  • : very bad and easily noticed

Law Dictionary


adjective egre·gious \i-ˈgrē-jəs\

Legal Definition of egregious

  1. :  extremely and conspicuously bad

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to glide in or as if in an airplane

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