1. shockingly noticeable or evident; obvious; glaring: a flagrant error.
  2. notorious; scandalous: a flagrant crime; a flagrant offender.
  3. Archaic. blazing, burning, or glowing.


  1. openly outrageous
  2. obsolete burning or blazing

1610s, from French flagrance or directly from Latin flagrantia, noun of quality from flagrantem (see flagrant).


c.1500, “resplendent,” from Latin flagrantem (nominative flagrans) “burning, blazing, glowing,” figuratively “glowing with passion, eager, vehement,” present participle of flagrare “to burn, blaze, glow” from Latin root *flag-, corresponding to PIE *bhleg- “to shine, flash, burn” (cf. Greek phlegein “to burn, scorch,” Latin fulgere “to shine”), from root *bhel- (1) “to shine, flash, burn” (see bleach (v.)). Sense of “glaringly offensive” first recorded 1706, probably from common legalese phrase in flagrante delicto “red-handed,” literally “with the crime still blazing.” Related: Flagrantly.

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