AskDefine | Define egregious

Dictionary Definition

egregious adj : conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible; "a crying shame"; "an egregious lie"; "flagrant violation of human rights"; "a glaring error"; "gross ineptitude"; "gross injustice"; "rank treachery" [syn: crying(a), flagrant, glaring, gross, rank]

User Contributed Dictionary



From 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".


  • /ɪˈgriː.dʒəs/ or /əˈgriː.dʒi.əs/, /I"gri:dZ@s/ or /@"gri:dZI@s/
  • Rhymes with: -iːdʒəs


  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.


Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion
  • French: flagrant
  • German: unerhört
  • Norwegian: flagrant, uhørt

Related terms

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a bit much, abandoned, abominable, absolute, all-embracing, all-encompassing, all-out, all-pervading, appalling, arrant, astonishing, atrocious, awful, base, beastly, beneath contempt, blameworthy, born, boundless, broad-based, brutal, capital, classical, clean, clear, complete, comprehensive, congenital, conspicuous, consummate, contemptible, crass, decided, deep-dyed, definitive, deplorable, despicable, detestable, dire, disgusting, downright, dreadful, dyed-in-the-wool, enormous, exaggerated, exceptional, excessive, exhaustive, exorbitant, extraordinary, extravagant, extreme, fabulous, fancy, fantastic, fetid, filthy, flagrant, formidable, foul, fulsome, gigantic, glaring, gluttonous, grievous, gross, hateful, heinous, high, horrible, horrid, hyperbolic, hypertrophied, immoderate, incontinent, incredible, infamous, inordinate, intemperate, intensive, intolerable, lamentable, loathsome, lousy, marked, marvelous, monstrous, nasty, nefarious, noisome, notable, noteworthy, noticeable, notorious, obnoxious, odious, of mark, offensive, omnibus, omnipresent, out of bounds, out of sight, out-and-out, outrageous, outright, outstanding, overbig, overdeveloped, overgreat, overgrown, overlarge, overmuch, overweening, perfect, pervasive, pitiable, pitiful, plain, plumb, positive, precious, preposterous, profound, pronounced, proper, pure, radical, rank, regrettable, regular, remarkable, reprehensible, repulsive, rotten, sad, scandalous, schlock, scurvy, shabby, shameful, shattering, sheer, shocking, shoddy, signal, sordid, squalid, stark, stark-staring, steep, stiff, straight, striking, superior, superlative, surpassing, sweeping, terrible, the veriest, thorough, thoroughgoing, through-and-through, too bad, too much, total, ubiquitous, unbearable, unbridled, unclean, uncommon, unconditional, unconscionable, undeniable, undue, unequivocal, universal, unmitigated, unqualified, unreasonable, unrelieved, unreserved, unrestrained, unrestricted, unspoiled, utter, veritable, vile, villainous, wholesale, woeful, wonderful, worst, worthless, wretched
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