A Word A Day : Blatant

Wednesday, 2nd April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : blá-yt'nt


1. Unpleasantly loud and noisy

2. without any attempt at concealment

3. full of or characterized by loud and nonmusical sounds


Late 16th century - Perhaps alteration of Scottish blatand - bleating or - Latin blatire - to babble


arrant, bald, barefaced, brassy, brazenfaced, clear, conspicuous, crying, flagrant, flashy, flaunting, garish, gaudy, glaring, glitzy, impudent, loud, meretricious, naked, obtrusive, ostentatious, outright, overbold, overt, plain, prominent, pronounced, protrusive, screaming, shameless, sheer, showy, snazzy, unabashed, unblushing, unmitigated

Flagrant implies shocking and reprehensible.

Batant is obvious, contrived and usually obnoxious.

Flagrant is a stronger term than blatant.

It is not surprising that blatant and flagrant are often confused, since the words have overlapping meanings. Both attribute conspicuousness and offensiveness to certain acts. Blatant emphasizes the failure to conceal the act. Flagrant, on the other hand, emphasizes the serious wrongdoing inherent in the offense. Certain contexts may admit either word depending on what is meant: a violation of human rights might be either blatant or flagrant. If it was committed with contempt for public scrutiny, it is blatant. If its barbarity was monstrous, it is flagrant. Blatant is sometimes used to mean simply obvious, as in the blatant danger of such an approach, but this use has not been established and is widely considered an error.


inconspicuous, quiet, subtle, unobtrusive, silent

Contextual Examples:

• There are those who find the trombones blatant and the triangle silly, but both add effective color.

• One of those very blatant idiots whose blundering is costing the country millions of money and thousands of brave men, has still enough authority to treat our reports as so much waste paper.

• The blatant colors of the dress got our attention.

• It was definitely a blatant lie.

Related Words:

blatancy : Noun

blatantly : Adverb

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