fa·mous | \ ˈfā-məs \

Definition of famous 

1a : 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

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Other words from famous

famousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of famous in a Sentence

a book about some of the most famous people of the last century some truly famous Southern-style cooking

Recent Examples on the Web

The picture, which is famous, comes at the end of the exhibition. New York Times, "He Spoke Out During the AIDS Crisis. See Why His Art Still Matters.," 12 July 2018 Who is that really crazy menswear designer who is super famous? Sarah Spellings And Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Androgynous Model Who’s Trying to Stop Over-Sharing on Instagram," 6 July 2018 His crossover dribble was already famous when Alex Ferguson snatched him for Manchester United ahead of the 2003-04 season and gave him the No. Ronald Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo exit World Cup without titles," 30 June 2018 Famously — famous is the wrong word — famously for nerds like you and me, [he] was interested in MySpace, or his team was interested in MySpace. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘The King of Content’ author Keach Hagey talks with Peter Kafka about Sumner Redstone’s crazy life," 28 June 2018 But one way celebrities — even the richest, the most famous, the most successful — actually do seem relatable? Samantha Sasso, refinery29.com, "30 Drugstore Beauty Products The 1% Loves," 12 July 2018 Triassic sauropodomorphs actually looked quite a bit different from their more famous, later relatives. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "The Most Massive of Dinos Evolved Earlier Than Previously Thought," 9 July 2018 The famous 'Laffer Curve' will certainly apply to California. sacbee, "Tax haircuts and concerts – or the rich? Californians consider the options," 9 July 2018 Before beer made Milwaukee famous, the city was known for grain, thanks to its excellent location between farms and water. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee loves its rivers and Lake Michigan — and keeps abusing them, too," 3 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of famous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for famous

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

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for famous

The first known use of famous was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for famous



English Language Learners Definition of famous

: known or recognized by very many people : having fame


fa·mous | \ ˈfā-məs \

Kids Definition of famous

: very well-known

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Comments on famous

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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