From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Egregious \E*gre"gious\ (?; 277), a. [L. egregius; lit.,
   separated or chosen from the herd, i. e., distinguished,
   excellent; e out + grex, gregis, herd. See Gregarious.]
   Surpassing; extraordinary; distinguished (in a bad sense); --
   formerly used with words importing a good quality, but now
   joined with words having a bad sense; as, an egregious
   rascal; an egregious ass; an egregious mistake.
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         The egregious impudence of this fellow.  --Bp. Hall.
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         His [Wyclif's] egregious labors are not to be
         neglected.                               --Milton.
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