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[ar-uh nt] /ˈær ənt/
downright; thorough; unmitigated; notorious:
an arrant fool.
wandering; errant.
Origin of arrant
1350-1400; Middle English, variant of errant
Related forms
arrantly, adverb
Can be confused
arrant, errant.
1. thoroughgoing, utter, confirmed, flagrant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for arrant
Historical Examples
  • Accordingly, that dignified individual took an opportunity of remarking to the king that he considered the English arrant cowards.

  • This arrant rogue was only a petty knave that any one could dupe.

    Samuel Brohl & Company Victor Cherbuliez
  • But the arrant Low escaped without injury, and continued his career of contemptible crime for some time longer.

    Buccaneers and Pirates of Our Coasts Frank Richard Stockton
  • To doubt what they believed could only be ascribed to arrant folly or to wickedness.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • He was a tight brisk little man, with the air of an arrant old bachelor.

  • An arrant traitor as any is in the universal world, or in France, or in England!

    Familiar Quotations John Bartlett
  • "Yes, he did," I said in disgust—for I was beginning to understand that Billy and his magic seed were arrant frauds.

    The Story Girl Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • He preys only on the smallest quadrupeds, and with all his voracity he is an arrant poltroon.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • The “To Let” sign on the little house was an arrant piece of hypocrisy.

    Rose O' the River Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Grena, I know not how it hath been with you, but for me, I have been an arrant coward.

    All's Well Emily Sarah Holt
British Dictionary definitions for arrant


utter; out-and-out: an arrant fool
Derived Forms
arrantly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: a variant of errant (wandering, vagabond); sense developed from its frequent use in phrases like arrant thief (hence: notorious)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for arrant

late 14c., variant of errant (q.v.); at first merely derogatory, "wandering, vagrant;" then (1540s) acquiring a meaning "thoroughgoing, downright, notorious."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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