Definition of arrant in English:
- I was a Minister for 9 years, and what the Hon Trevor Mallard has said is absolute arrant nonsense.
- Either Connor hasn't read Mabo (or hasn't read it very carefully), or he's relying on the fact that most of the readers of his Bulletin article won't have done so, and therefore won't realise that his claim is arrant nonsense.
- ‘The notion that the women's movement denigrates women who choose the traditional roles of wife and mother is arrant nonsense,’ columnist Molly Ivins writes emphatically.
Middle English: variant of errant, originally in phrases such as arrant thief 'outlawed, roving thief'.
err from (Middle English):
Like error (Middle English) and erratic (Late Middle English), err comes to us from Latin errare, which meant ‘to stray, wander’ but could also mean ‘to make a mistake’. The idea of straying or going off the correct course is still found in erratic, and also in the old term knight errant (Middle English), so called because they wandered far and wide in search of adventure. Arrant is a Middle English variant of errant, and aberrant (mid 16th century) is literally a ‘wandering away’ from the right path. The proverb to err is human, to forgive, divine is so old that it is found in Latin (humanum est errare, ‘it is human to err’), and also in the 14th-century work of Geoffrey Chaucer: ‘The proverb says that to sin is human, but to carry on sinning is the devil's work.’ The precise wording that we are familiar with comes from An Essay on Criticism ( 1711) by the poet Alexander Pope.
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