Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Conspicuously bad or offensive. See Synonyms at flagrant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion.
  • adj. Outrageously bad.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Surpassing; extraordinary; distinguished (in a bad sense); -- formerly used with words importing a good quality, but now joined with words having a bad sense

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Above the common; beyond what is usual; extraordinary.
  • Now, more commonly in a bad or condemnatory sense, extreme; enormous.
  • Synonyms . Huge, monstrous, astonishing, surprising, unique, exceptional, uncommon, unprecedented.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible

Etymologies

From Latin ēgregius, outstanding : ē-, ex-, ex- + grex, greg-, herd; see ger- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prefix e- ("out of"), + grex ("flock"), + English adjective suffix -ous, from Latin suffix -osus ("full of"); reflecting the positive connotations of "standing out from the flock". (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • started from latinroot "grex" meaning flock..deteriorated to mean being distinguished from the common in a negative sense... latin root ('e') means out of

    August 21, 2013

  • вопиющий, полный, совершенный, абсолютный

    February 11, 2013

  • Rudy Waltz from Kurt Vonnegut's Deadeye Dick explains how this word would fit in a parade of neuters:

    “These were my people—as used as I was to wanting love from nowhere, as certain as I was that almost anything desirable was likely to be booby-trapped. I had a fairly funny idea. Someday all we neuters would come out of our closets and form a parade. I even decided what banner our front rank should carry, as wide as Fifth Avenue. A single word would be printed on it in letters four feet high:

    EGREGIOUS.

    Most people think that word means terrible or unheard of or unforgivable. It has a much more interesting story than that to tell. It means ‘outside the herd.’ Imagine that—thousands of people, outside the herd.”

    December 10, 2012

  • From Latin e(x) + grex, out of the herd. Originally used as a compliment, later came to be used ironically which is the meaning it has today. Strangely a similar thing seems to have happened to gregarious.

    June 3, 2009

  • My father recently decided that egregious was the best word to use to describe him. I think he likes the idea of being notorious... But that is really something else again.

    January 5, 2009

  • first came across this word when an KAL 007 was shot down

    December 6, 2008

  • "The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government workplace safety regulator, had not visited Imperial Sugar's Port Wentworth facility since 2000. When inspectors examined the blast site after the fact, they found rampant violations of the agency's already inadequate standards. They proposed a more than $5 million fine, and issuance of citations for 61 egregious willful violations, eight willful violations and 51 serious violations. Under OSHA's rules, a 'serious' citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to occur, a 'willful' violation is a violation committed with plain indifference to employee safety and health, and 'egregious' citations are issued for particularly flagrant violations."
    - Robert Weissman, 'The System Implodes: The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008', The Multinational Monitor, 23 Nov 2008.

    November 26, 2008

  • Meanwhile 'outstanding' has evolved to mean (more often than not) 'outstandingly good'.

    November 9, 2007

  • The archaic meaning is 'outstanding'. But it has evolved to mean 'outstandingly bad'.

    November 9, 2007

  • It means "conspicuously bad or offensive."

    October 24, 2007

  • To be outstanding.

    October 8, 2007

  • Sometimes a word slips itself into every available conversation, until I begin to annoy even myself. This weekend it was egregious.

    October 8, 2007

  • December 6, 2006