fla·​grant ˈflā-grənt How to pronounce flagrant (audio)
 also  ˈfla-
: conspicuously offensive
flagrant errors
especially : so obviously inconsistent with what is right or proper as to appear to be a flouting of law or morality
flagrant violations of human rights
archaic : fiery hot : burning
flagrantly adverb

Did you know?

In Latin, flagrare means "to burn," and flagrans means "burning" or "fiery hot" (both literally and figuratively). When it was first used in the 16th century, flagrant had the same meaning as flagrans, but by the 18th century it had acquired its current meaning of "conspicuously bad." Some usage commentators warn against using flagrant and blatant interchangeably. While both words denote conspicuousness, they are not exact synonyms. Blatant is usually used of some person, action, or thing that attracts disapproving attention (e.g., "a blatant grammatical error"). Flagrant is used similarly, but usually carries a heavier weight of violated morality (e.g., "flagrant abuse of public office").

Choose the Right Synonym for flagrant

flagrant, glaring, gross, rank mean conspicuously bad or objectionable.

flagrant applies usually to offenses or errors so bad that they can neither escape notice nor be condoned.

flagrant abuse of the office of president

glaring implies painful or damaging obtrusiveness of something that is conspicuously wrong, faulty, or improper.

glaring errors

gross implies the exceeding of reasonable or excusable limits.

gross carelessness

rank applies to what is openly and extremely objectionable and utterly condemned.

rank heresy

Examples of flagrant in a Sentence

flagrant abuse of the law her flagrant disregard for other people's rights
Recent Examples on the Web Indeed, there are high-profile populists who have turned their backs on Trump and gone with Ron DeSantis exactly because of the former president’s terrible judgment and flagrant irresponsibility. The Editors, National Review, 8 Sep. 2023 To keep me company, and because efforts to turn cinema and television into capital-B Brands—the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most infamously—are so much more flagrant than before. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023 Wage theft is a flagrant violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, but enforcement has been systematically hampered by the business lobby in Congress. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023 What started as street riots over a new tax had quickly ballooned into a national movement demanding an end to corruption and to the flagrant mismanagement of the country’s resources. Ursula Lindsey, The New York Review of Books, 27 July 2023 James Harden's second-quarter shot to Jaylen Brown on Sunday resulted in a flagrant foul, and a major shift in momentum. Dan Gelston, BostonGlobe.com, 16 May 2023 According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, three Lynx fans were ejected late in the game during the review of a flagrant foul against Sabally, who was being looked at by trainers on the court at the time. Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, 23 Aug. 2023 Brooks, who was issued a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from the Lakers’ 111-101 Game 3 victory on Saturday, is available for Game 4 on Monday in Los Angeles (10 p.m. ET, TNT). Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 23 Apr. 2023 In 2016, Green was suspended for a crucial Game 5 loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals after accumulating too many flagrant fouls in the playoffs that season. Janie McCauley, BostonGlobe.com, 19 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flagrant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin flagrant-, flagrans, present participle of flagrare to burn — more at black entry 1

First Known Use

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of flagrant was in 1513


Dictionary Entries Near flagrant

Cite this Entry

“Flagrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flagrant. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


fla·​grant ˈflā-grənt How to pronounce flagrant (audio)
: so bad as to be impossible to overlook : outrageous
a flagrant lie
flagrantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on flagrant

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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