Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion.
* 16thC , ,
- The student has made egregious errors on the examination.
* c1605 , , Act 2, Scene 3,
- I cannot cross my arms, or sigh "Ah me," / "Ah me forlorn!" egregious foppery! / I cannot buss thy fill, play with thy hair, / Swearing by Jove, "Thou art most debonnaire!"
* 22 March 2012 , Scott Tobias, AV Club The Hunger Games [http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-hunger-games,71293/]
- My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
Outrageously bad; shocking.
- When the goal is simply to be as faithful as possible to the material—as if a movie were a marriage, and a rights contract the vow—the best result is a skillful abridgment, one that hits all the important marks without losing anything egregious .
The negative meaning arose in the late 16th century, probably originating in sarcasm. Before that, it meant outstanding in a good way. Webster also gives “distinguished” as an archaic form, and notes that its present form often has an unpleasant connotation (e.g., "an egregious error" ). It generally precedes such epithets as “rogue,” “rascal,” "ass," “blunderer”.
(dated) A man with a reputation for fine dress and etiquette; a dandy or fop.
* 1811 , Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility , chapter 21
- “I do not comprehend the meaning of the word. But this I can say, that if he ever was a beau before he married, he is one still, for there is not the smallest alteration in him.”
(dated) A male lover; a boyfriend.
* 1917 , Kate Douglas Wiggin, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm , p. 142:
- “Oh! dear! one never thinks of married mens’(SIC) being beaux —they have something else to do.”
* 2009 , Philippa Bourke, Monsters and Critics [http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/news/article_1518335.php/Kristin-Davis-takes-cover-on-beach-with-beau#ixzz0ZRsqa5SS], Dec 10, 2009:
- Hannah's beau takes all her time 'n' thought, and when she gits a husband her mother'll be out o' sight and out o' mind.
A male escort.
- Kristin Davis has taken time out to enjoy the surf and sand with her Australian beau , photographer Russell James.