Definitions

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

  • adj. Completely such; thoroughgoing: an arrant fool; the arrant luxury of the ocean liner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Utter; complete.
  • adj. Alternative spelling of errant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Notoriously or preëminently bad; thorough or downright, in a bad sense; shameless; unmitigated.
  • adj. Thorough or downright, in a good sense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Wandering; itinerant; vagrant; errant: as, a knight arrant; an arrant preacher: especially in thief arrant or arrant thief, a roving, outlawed robber; a highwayman. Now written errant.
  • Notorious; manifest; unmitigated; downright: in a bad sense (derived from the noun qualified): as, an arrant rogue; an arrant coward; arrant nonsense.
  • Thorough; downright; genuine: in a good sense.
  • Synonyms Utter, rank, consummate, perfect.

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

  • adj. without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers

Etymologies

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

Variant of errant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration of errant. Originally meaning wandering (errant), the term came to be an intensifier due to its use as an epithet, e.g. in the phrases "arrant thieves" and "arrant knaves" (i.e., wandering bandits).

Examples

  • Event 2: We say homosexuality is a variant sexuality which does no intrinsic harm to the consenting adults that practice it or anyone else outwith their relationship, rejecting in no uncertain terms your arrant presumption that you have the privilege to impose your morés on us -- or anyone else, for that matter -- and criticising your judgementalism as ethically retarded.

    An Open Letter to John C. Wright

  • For that matter, there were unmistakable signs in Sandy himself of what would have been called arrant terror in any other man.

    Trailin'!

  • The notion that requiring students to know and master orthodoxy stifles their lovely creativity is the kind of arrant nonsense I hear from my teenagers all the time and really just because they want to avoid work.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Kids These Days

  • Give another word in place of "arrant" that will mean the same thing.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature

  • But this latest attack is the kind of arrant nonsense up with which I will not put!

    Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine

  • "See here, Dan," the big man went on, leaning forward; "I knowed what your arrant was the fust minute I clapped eyes on you.

    Southern Lights and Shadows

  • Of course, the idea that Data can think without feeling emotions is arrant nonsense - you can't have one without the other.

    MIND MELD: What Are The Coolest Robots in Science Fiction?

  • An arrant flirt the little hussy is; but very pretty.

    Mary Barton

  • And yet here am I, wilting before him, an arrant coward, with no respect for him and less for myself.

    The Dignity of Dollars

  • He was like an old and irritable man, annoyed by the turbulence of their young spirits that was to him arrant silliness.

    THE APOSTATE: written by Jack London

Comments

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  • Nice!

    October 5, 2011