Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Egregious

egregious [ih-gree-juh s, -jee-uh s ]

1 outstandingly bad; shocking, conspicuously bad, flagrant

2 (archaic) remarkably good,


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,

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)


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)

Tags: adjective, archaic, e, english, latin, wordsmith: sallymn

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