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[ar-uh nt] /ˈær ənt/
downright; thorough; unmitigated; notorious:
an arrant fool.
wandering; errant.
Origin of arrant
1350-1400; Middle English, variant of errant
Related forms
arrantly, adverb
Can be confused
arrant, errant.
1. thoroughgoing, utter, confirmed, flagrant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for arrant
Historical Examples
  • "I'm afraid you're an arrant little coquette," said Katherine indulgently.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • But they are all arrant cowards, and fear to approach me—fear even to come into this wood.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • This made me think that my correspondent was an arrant block-head.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • If the old woman has got any arrant at all, it's likely it's to your mother and me.

  • He was an arrant coward like the most of his downtrodden race.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White
  • Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; a cut-purse; I remember him now.

    King Henry the Fifth William Shakespeare
  • For in this matter of smittal plagues we Highlanders are the most arrant cowards.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • "You'll see that he'll come back an arrant puppy," quoth Michael Howe.

    Town Versus Country Mary Russell Mitford
  • This arrant rogue was only a petty knave that any one could dupe.

    Samuel Brohl & Company Victor Cherbuliez
  • To doubt what they believed could only be ascribed to arrant folly or to wickedness.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
British Dictionary definitions for arrant


utter; out-and-out: an arrant fool
Derived Forms
arrantly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: a variant of errant (wandering, vagabond); sense developed from its frequent use in phrases like arrant thief (hence: notorious)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for arrant

late 14c., variant of errant (q.v.); at first merely derogatory, "wandering, vagrant;" then (1540s) acquiring a meaning "thoroughgoing, downright, notorious."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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