ar·​rant | \ ˈa-rənt How to pronounce arrant (audio) , ˈer-ənt \

Definition of arrant

: being notoriously without moderation : extreme we are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us— William Shakespeare

Other Words from arrant

arrantly adverb

Examples of arrant in a Sentence

that statement is complete and arrant nonsense
Recent Examples on the Web Well, both of those statements are arrant nonsense. CBS News, 19 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arrant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of arrant

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arrant

Middle English arraunt, variant of erraunt "wandering, itinerant" (reflecting lowering of ĕ to ă before r); arraunt, erraunt in sense "notorious, reprobate" (hence, "extreme") from its use in the collocation theef erraunt, erraunt theif "outlawed robber roaming the country" — more at errant

Note: The two spellings arrant and errant (and presumably the associated pronunciations) were used indiscriminately into the 17th century, after which arrant became limited to its current meaning; since Robert Baker's Reflections on the English Language (1770), usage commentators have considered errant in the sense "arrant" as an error.

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The first known use of arrant was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Arrant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for arrant


ar·​rant | \ ˈer-ənt How to pronounce arrant (audio) \

Kids Definition of arrant

: of the worst kind arrant nonsense


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