July 7th, 2019

words 6

Sunday Word: Egregious

egregious [ih-gree-juh s, -jee-uh s ]
adjective:

1 outstandingly bad; shocking, conspicuously bad, flagrant

2 (archaic) remarkably good,

Examples:

In one particularly egregious example about midway through, Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio actually climbs atop a bar and launches into an extended explanation of the film’s plot. (Mike Scott, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ movie review: Fun, but far from perfect, nola.com)

By Hugo's brother I will be tried on no charge; seeing that he is, was, and ever will be - in charity I speak it - an egregious fool. (Anon, Three Courses and a Dessert)

Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder. (Professor Lancelot Hogben Interglossia, quoted by George Orwell, Politics and the English Language)

Origin:

Mid 16th century (in sense 2)): from Latin egregius 'illustrious', literally 'standing out from the flock', from ex- 'out' + grex, greg- 'flock'. Sense 1 (late 16th century) probably arose as an ironic use (Oxford English Dictionary)

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 sensse. (Merriam-Webster)