outrageous

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman outrageus, Middle French outrageus, from outrage; compare outrage.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

outrageous (comparative more outrageous, superlative most outrageous)

  1. Cruel, violating morality or decency; provoking indignation or affront. [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1601, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, First Folio 1623:
      To be, or not to be, that is the Question: / Whether 'tis Nobler in the minde to suffer / The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune, / Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles, / And by opposing end them [...].
    • 2011, Paul Wilson, The Guardian, 19 Oct 2011:
      The Irish-French rugby union whistler Alain Rolland was roundly condemned for his outrageous decision that lifting a player into the air then turning him over so he falls on his head or neck amounted to dangerous play.
  2. (now rare) Fierce, violent. [from 14th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.4:
      For els my feeble vessell, crazd and crackt / Through thy strong buffets and outrageous blowes, / Cannot endure, but needes it must be wrackt [...].
  3. Transgressing reasonable limits; extravagant, immoderate. [from 14th c.]
    • 2004, David Smith, The Observer, 19 Dec 2004:
      Audience members praised McKellen, best known for Shakespearean roles and as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, for his show-stealing turn as Twankey in a series of outrageous glitzy dresses.
  4. Shocking; exceeding conventional behaviour; provocative. [from 18th c.]
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 1, Death on the Centre Court:
      She mixed furniture with the same fatal profligacy as she mixed drinks, and this outrageous contact between things which were intended by Nature to be kept poles apart gave her an inexpressible thrill.
    • 2001, Imogen Tilden, The Guardian, 8 Dec 2001:
      "It's something I really am quite nervous about," he admits, before adding, with relish: "You have to be a bit outrageous and challenging sometimes."

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