Old French flagitieux or Latin flāgitiōsus, both ultimately from flāgitium (“shameful crime”), related to flagrum (“whip”).
flagitious (comparative more flagitious, superlative most flagitious)
- (literary) Guilty of terrible crimes; wicked, criminal.
- 1716 Nov 7th, quoted from 1742, probably Alexander Pope, God's Revenge Against Punning, from Miscellanies, 3rd volume, page 227:
- This young Nobleman was not only a flagitious Punster himself, but was accessary to the Punning of others, by Consent, by Provocation, by Connivance, and by Defence of the Evil committed […] .
1842, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Lady Anne Granard, volume 2, page 258 footnote:
The duke found his soldiery half disciplined, flagitious, disorderly and inefficient: he rendered them, in his own words, a "perfect organ."
2020 December 31, Kara Swisher, “Goodbye, Twitter Trump! And Other Predictions for 2021”, in The New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331:
As flagitious as he can be, Mr. Trump has been a legitimate news figure and, thus, what he had to say should be aired.
- (literary) Extremely brutal or wicked; heinous, monstrous.
- Synonyms: infamous, scandalous, nefarious, iniquitous
1709, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Criticism, London: […] W. Lewis […], published 1711, OCLC 15810849, page 30:
But if in Noble Minds ſome Dregs remain, / Not yet purg'd off, of Spleen and ſow'r Diſdain, / Diſcharge that Rage on more Provoking Crimes, / Nor fear a Dearth on theſe Flagitious Times.
- 1959 (1985), Rex Stout, "Assault on a Brownstone", Death Times Three, page 186:
- As he entered he boomed: "Monstrous! Flagitious!"