famous

adjective fa·mous \ ˈfā-məs \

Definition of famous

1 a :widely known
  • a restaurant famous for its French cuisine
b :honored for achievement
  • a famous explorer
2 :excellent, first-rate
  • famous weather for a walk

famousness

noun

Examples of famous in a Sentence

  1. a book about some of the most famous people of the last century

  2. some truly famous Southern-style cooking

Recent Examples of famous from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'famous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of famous

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin famosus, from fama fame

Synonym Discussion of famous

famous, renowned, celebrated, noted, notorious, distinguished, eminent, illustrious mean known far and wide. famous implies little more than the fact of being, sometimes briefly, widely and popularly known.
    • a famous actress
renowned implies more glory and acclamation.
    • one of the most renowned figures in sports history
celebrated implies notice and attention especially in print.
    • the most celebrated beauty of her day
noted suggests well-deserved public attention.
    • the noted mystery writer
notorious frequently adds to famous an implication of questionableness or evil.
    • a notorious gangster
distinguished implies acknowledged excellence or superiority.
    • a distinguished scientist who won the Nobel Prize
eminent implies even greater prominence for outstanding quality or character.
    • the country's most eminent writers
illustrious stresses enduring honor and glory attached to a deed or person.
    • illustrious war heroes

FAMOUS Defined for English Language Learners

famous

adjective

Definition of famous for English Language Learners

  • : known or recognized by very many people : having fame


FAMOUS Defined for Kids

famous

adjective fa·mous \ ˈfā-məs \

Definition of famous for Students

:very well-known


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up famous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak evil of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!