October 13, 2015
egregious (adjective)
\ih-GREE-jus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: very noticeable : glaring
How do you use it?
Matt and Kyle wrote a letter to the newspaper protesting what they felt were egregious misstatements about their school in the previous day's headline story.
Are you a word wiz?

Sometimes, a word's meaning changes over time. "Egregious" used to have a different meaning than it does now. Which word below do you think tells the former meaning of "egregious"?

Before the 1500s, it was a compliment to be called "egregious." Back then, the term meant "distinguished," and it was used for someone who had some remarkably good quality. However, people started using the word ironically to refer to people who were not really distinguished, but who seemed to think they were. As a result, the meaning of "egregious" gradually shifted from "distinguished" to "conspicuously bad" -- so you definitely don't want to do something egregious now!
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