Word of the Day

Sunday, April 16, 2000


\ih-GREE-juhs\ , adjective;
Conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible.
The most egregious offender is alleged to be a Heber City, Utah, man, who said he was a certified public accountant and requested $393 million in refunds, including a $210 million refund for one customer.
-- "Nashville woman banned from preparing tax returns", Nashville Business Journal, February 1, 2010
Our objective is to get the most egregious flops, the ones where the player's just flat taking a dive, Jackson said.
-- Associated Press, "NBA to introduce flop rule, fines next season", USA Today, May 30, 2008
As far as we're concerned, the most egregious fouls committed during Sunday's Super Bowl will involve tortilla chips and melted cheese.
-- Bonnie S. Benwick and Joe Yonan, "Super Bowl smackdown: Nachos vs. nachos", Washington Post, February 3, 2010
Egregious derives from Latin egregius, separated or chosen from the herd, from e-, ex-, out of, from + grex, greg-, herd, flock. Egregious was formerly used with words importing a good quality (that which was distinguished "from the herd" because of excellence), but now it is joined with words having a bad sense. It is related to congregate (to "flock together," from con-, together, with + gregare, to assemble, from grex); segregate (from segregare, to separate from the herd, from se-, apart + gregare); and gregarious (from gregarius, belonging to a flock).
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