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

Instead, the focus should be on egregious instances in which teams are placed at competitive disadvantages. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "UCLA preview: Major progress under Chip Kelly in Year Two as brutal schedule awaits," 23 Aug. 2019 Instead, the focus should be on egregious instances in which teams are placed at competitive disadvantages. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Pac-12 football previews: Chip Kelly rebuild at UCLA takes hold amid brutal schedule," 23 Aug. 2019 Voters took action in 2016 to block the most egregious uses of that legislative maneuver, requiring bills be available for public inspection at least 72 hours before any final vote. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: California’s rent costs, privacy and vaccine rules take the spotlight in Sacramento," 12 Aug. 2019 Senator James Buckley, the brother of National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., was the plaintiff in Buckley v. Valeo (1976), in which the Supreme Court struck some of the more egregious elements of the speech-stifling 1974 law. Jeremy Carl, National Review, "We Need Donor-Privacy Legislation Now," 12 Aug. 2019 Preemptively flagging the shooter — or one of several far-right killers before him — could have looked like egregious anti-conservative bias. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why deplatforming 8chan can be effective," 8 Aug. 2019 The initiative is another egregious attempt to criminalize purchase of firearms and create a registry. Anthony Man,, "Florida attorney general trying to keep proposed assault weapons ban off 2020 election ballot," 29 July 2019 Perhaps most egregious, authorities say, is that the drugs were smuggled into the prison system through the hands of a man who was locked up for dealing drugs on the outside. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Feds: Convicted gangster dealt drugs from his Michigan prison cell," 18 July 2019 This sounds egregious but isn’t even record-breaking — an autographed pair of Michael Jordan’s Converse sneakers from the 1984 Olympic finals sold for more than $190,000 in 2017. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Why Sotheby’s first fancy sneaker auction makes sense — and why it doesn’t," 17 July 2019

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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ego trip





Statistics for egregious

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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