Origin of arrantvariant, variety of errant
When a statement is absolutely, completely ridiculous, the statement is an example of arrant nonsense.
Origin of arrantVariant of errant
(comparative arranter, superlative arrantest)
Particularly used in the phrase “arrant knaves”, quoting Hamlet, and “arrant nonsense”.
Some dictionaries consider arrant simply an alternative form of errant, but in usage they have long split.
The word has long been considered archaic, may be confused with errant, and is used primarily in clichés, on which basis some recommend against using it.
Alteration of errant. Originally meaning wandering (errant), the term came to be an intensifier due to its use as an epithet, e.g. in the phrases "arrant thieves" and "arrant knaves" (i.e., wandering bandits).
- He was only saved by his intellect and his fine nature from turning out an arrant prig.
- Swift, who was intimate with him, speaks of him as "an arrant knave"; but the dean may have been disappointed at being unmentioned in Rivers's will, for he made a fierce comment on the earl's bequests to his mistresses and his neglect of his friends.