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egregious

English

Etymology

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] prefix e-, out of, + grex, gregis, flock, + English adjective suffix -ous, from Latin suffix -osus, full of; reflecting the positive connotations of "standing out from the flock".

Pronunciation

Adjective

egregious (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
egregious

Comparative
{{{1}}}

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion.
    The student has made egregious errors on the examination.
  2. Outrageously bad.

Usage notes

The negative meaning arose in the late 16th century, probably originating in sarcasm. Before that, it meant outstanding in a good way. Webster also gives “distinguished” as an archaic form, and notes that its present form often has an unpleasant connotation (e.g., "an egregious error"). It generally precedes such epithets as “rogue,” “rascal,” "ass," “blunderer” – but may also be used for a compliment, or even on its own: “Sir, you are egregious.” The latter sense is only recommended when one is quite certain its object is unaware of its meaning.

Translations

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Last modified on 10 November 2008, at 03:41