Definition of egregious in US English:



  • 1Outstandingly bad; shocking.

    ‘egregious abuses of copyright’
    • ‘Journalists are running back and forth across town to find the most egregious technical errors and blatant fraud.’
    • ‘I've never seen such an egregious act of political opportunism or shameless trafficking in human misery.’
    • ‘It is in the cover-up that we usually see the most egregious abuse of a leader's power.’
    • ‘The misuse of the grand jury by prosecutors is among the most egregious abuses of all.’
    • ‘Keep in mind that I found these egregious examples of bias in a single issue of a single newspaper, randomly chosen.’
    • ‘That's the kind of service recovery you'd expect from a decent company, especially after being publicly outed for egregious customer abuse.’
    • ‘They are so unprofessional - if a newspaper or a broadcast programme made such an egregious slur they'd print a correction or broadcast an apology.’
    • ‘If you do something outrageous or egregious enough, you can become rich and famous.’
    • ‘Opposition to the extremist activities of the university unions grew stronger as their abuses became more egregious.’
    • ‘That is an egregious violation of the responsibility a scholar has.’
    • ‘Obviously, when journalists betray their code of ethics by making up stories, or egregious misconduct, they must be punished.’
    • ‘But I find it hard to deny that egregious self-importance in individuals is one of the defining characteristics of our society.’
    • ‘Music companies are more egregious in their abuse of consumers than the movie companies.’
    • ‘The public has a compelling right to know about egregious examples of nepotism and favoritism like this by public officials.’
    • ‘Why do you think the specialized business press continues to make what you consider such an egregious and howling error?’
    • ‘No, the egregious violation was going past the sacred 51 day deadline for replacing a name on the ballot.’
    • ‘I don't think you need a defector to tell you how foul he was and how egregious were his human rights abuses…’
    • ‘The desire for vengeance is very strong, simply because the abuses were so egregious.’
    • ‘People have said to him since then that the loss of the title might not be such a bad thing, that such an egregious collapse might well help focus the mind and restore desire in the long run.’
    • ‘But there's often more egregious abuse among the tiny nonprofits that operate below the radar.’
    shocking, horrific, horrifying, horrible, terrible, awful, dreadful, ghastly, hideous, horrendous, frightful, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, outrageous, hateful, loathsome, odious, gruesome, grisly, monstrous, nightmarish, heinous, harrowing, dire, vile, shameful, unspeakable, unforgivable, unpardonable
    shocking, appalling, horrific, horrifying, horrible, terrible, awful, dreadful, grievous, gross, ghastly, hideous, horrendous, frightful, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, outrageous
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  • 2archaic Remarkably good.

    • ‘I am not so egregious a mathematician as you are.’
    • ‘When he wanted to draw some one splendid and egregious, it was Clive he took for a model.’


Mid 16th century (in egregious (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.