arrant

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj arrant without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers "an arrant fool","a complete coward","a consummate fool","a double-dyed villain","gross negligence","a perfect idiot","pure folly","what a sodding mess","stark staring mad","a thoroughgoing villain","utter nonsense","the unadulterated truth"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Arrant Notoriously or preëminently bad; thorough or downright, in a bad sense; shameless; unmitigated; as, an arrant rogue or coward. "I discover an arrant laziness in my soul."
    • Arrant Thorough or downright, in a good sense.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • arrant 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.
    • arrant Notorious; manifest; unmitigated; downright: in a bad sense (derived from the noun qualified): as, an arrant rogue; an arrant coward; arrant nonsense.
    • arrant Thorough; downright; genuine: in a good sense.
    • arrant Synonyms Utter, rank, consummate, perfect.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Arrant ar′rant downright, notorious (used in a bad sense): unmitigated
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Quotations

  • Bertrand Russell
    Bertrand%20Russell
    “There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate government action.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A variant of Errant. From its use in phrases like 'arrant thief,' it passed naturally into a general term used with other terms of abuse.

Usage

In literature:

Then I had in an hour of arrant folly buried what remained to me in a bank in George Street.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
I dislike grand opera as a miserable mishmash of styles, compromises, and arrant ugliness.
"Ivory Apes and Peacocks" by James Huneker
I have called her an arrant flirt a score of times, but she just laughs.
"The Mermaid of Druid Lake and Other Stories" by Charles Weathers Bump
Its anger is lost in an arrant cowardice, and the beast slinks within a low-mouthed cavern.
"In the Brooding Wild" by Ridgwell Cullum
But this quick dreampeter-blower is an arrant rogue.
"The Rebellion in the Cevennes, an Historical Novel" by Ludwig Tieck
What an arrant humbug you are, Loyd.
"A Rent In A Cloud" by Charles James Lever
But, just the same, you're an arrant coward.
"When the Cock Crows" by Waldron Baily
You may be sure that he and his companion make open confession to each other that they are a pair of arrant rogues.
"Library of the World's Best literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 12" by Various
I've hired for odd jobs, held horses, run arrants, helped 'round taverns, but didn't get no place for steady.
"Dorothy at Oak Knowe" by Evelyn Raymond
Cyanide, Clem, is an arrant flirt, as I'll show you, in a minute.
"The Boy With the U.S. Miners" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
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In poetry:

The marshal in his saddle sat,
His daughter at his knee;
"I go to fetch that arrant witch,
Thy fair playmate," quoth he.
"The Witch of Wenham" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Thou arrant robber, Death!
Couldst thou not find
Some lesser one than he
To rob of breath,--
Some poorer mind
Thy prey to be?
"On The Death Of W. C." by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Come, clear thy studious looks awhile,
'T is arrant treason now
To wear that moping brow,
When I, thy empress, bid thee smile.
"To Mr. Barbauld" by Anna Laetitia Aikin Barbauld
So let them scatter, jangled in Duress.
What reckons Love of Hairpins more or less?
Guard well your Heart and let the Hairpins go -
To lose your Heart were arrant Carelessness.
"The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám Jr." by Wallace Irwin
Not to care when things go wrong,
Not to care when ill Rises up to check your song,
And your heart to chill That were foolishness indeed Of an arrant sort. Nothing is too slight to heed
On the way to port.
""Don't Care" And "Never Mind"" by John Kendrick Bangs
If they retreat, they meet the foe;
Debarr'd they could not onward go;
Commanding neither chaise nor coach;
Condemn'd to wait the storm's approach.
Dame Fortune prov'd an arrant jilt,
Destroy'd the fabrick nearly built.
"A Tour To Scotland" by William Hutton