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Apr 9, 2014
This week's theme
Words formed in error

This week's words
belfry
ambage
arrant
sashay
viperine

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arrant

PRONUNCIATION:
(AR-uhnt)

MEANING:
adjective: Complete; thorough.

ETYMOLOGY:
Here's a word that has had both its spelling and meaning bent out of shape from use. It's a variant of errant (wandering). Earlier the word was used in the sense of wandering or vagrant, for example, an arrant thief or an arrant knave. Over time the word began to be taken as an intensifier so an arrant fool was no longer a vagrant fool, but a complete fool.
Via French, from Latin iterare (to journey), from iter (journey). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ei- (to go), which is also the ancestor of words such as exit, transit, circuit, itinerary, obituary, and adit. Earliest documented use: 1386.

USAGE:
"Norman Macrae also dismissed the Club of Rome's prediction that the world was about to run out of food as arrant nonsense."
The Unacknowledged Giant; The Economist (London, UK); Jun 17, 2010.

See more usage examples of arrant in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

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