\ \ [16] Arrant is an alteration of errant, as in knight errant. This originally meant ‘roaming, wandering’, but its persistent application to nouns with negative connotations, such as rogue and thief, gradually drove its meaning downwards by association, to ‘notorious’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Arrant — Ar rant, a. [OE. erraunt, errant, errand, equiv. to E. errant wandering, which was first applied to vagabonds, as an errant rogue, an errant thief, and hence passed gradually into its present and worse sense. See {Errant}.] Notoriously or pre[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • arrant — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ utter; complete. DERIVATIVES arrantly adverb. ORIGIN variant of ERRANT(Cf. ↑errantry), originally in phrases such as arrant thief, meaning «outlawed, roving thief» …   English terms dictionary

  • arrant — [ar′ənt, er′ənt] adj. [var. of ERRANT] that is plainly such; out and out; notorious [an arrant fool] arrantly adv …   English World dictionary

  • arrant — I adjective abominable, atrocious, bad, base, blameworthy, contemptible, crass, damnable, despicable, disgraceful, disreputable, egregious, evil, execrable, flagitious, flagrant, foul, heinous, ignominious, immoral, infamous, lawless, low, mean,… …   Law dictionary

  • arrant — (adj.) late 14c., variant of ERRANT (Cf. errant) (q.v.); at first merely derogatory, wandering, vagrant; then (1540s) acquiring a meaning thoroughgoing, downright, notorious …   Etymology dictionary

  • arrant — out and out, *outright, unmitigated …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • arrant — [adj] flagrant absolute, blatant, glaring, notorious, out and out, unmitigated, unregenerate; concepts 401,545,576 …   New thesaurus

  • arrant — [[t]æ̱rənt[/t]] ADJ: ADJ n (emphasis) Arrant is used to emphasize that something or someone is very bad in some way. That s the most arrant nonsense I ve ever heard. arrant coward. Syn: unmitigated …   English dictionary

  • arrant — adj. downright, utter, notorious (arrant liar; arrant nonsense). Derivatives: arrantly adv. Etymology: ME, var. of ERRANT, orig. in phrases like arrant (= outlawed, roving) thief …   Useful english dictionary

  • arrant — [ ar(ə)nt] adjective literary utter; complete: what arrant nonsense! Derivatives arrantly adverb Origin ME: var. of errant, orig. in phrs such as arrant thief ( outlawed, roving thief ) …   English new terms dictionary

  • arrant — adjective Etymology: alteration of errant Date: 14th century being notoriously without moderation ; extreme < we are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us Shakespeare > • arrantly adverb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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