in·​fa·​my | \ ˈin-fə-mē How to pronounce infamy (audio) \
plural infamies

Definition of infamy

1 : evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking, or brutal
2a : an extreme and publicly known criminal or evil act
b : the state of being infamous

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Choose the Right Synonym for infamy

disgrace, dishonor, disrepute, infamy, ignominy mean the state or condition of suffering loss of esteem and of enduring reproach. disgrace often implies humiliation and sometimes ostracism. sent home in disgrace dishonor emphasizes the loss of honor that one has enjoyed or the loss of self-esteem. preferred death to life with dishonor disrepute stresses loss of one's good name or the acquiring of a bad reputation. a once proud name fallen into disrepute infamy usually implies notoriety as well as exceeding shame. a day that lives in infamy ignominy stresses humiliation. the ignominy of being arrested

Examples of infamy in a Sentence

He never escaped the infamy his crimes had earned him. despite her eventual pardons, she could never completely free herself of the infamy of being named a war criminal

Recent Examples on the Web

In some ways the heat wave remains a painful part of recent Chicago infamy. Michael Phillips,, "‘Cooked: Survival by ZIP Code’ review: A withering look at the 1995 Chicago heat wave," 10 July 2019 June 11, 2018, was to be a date that would live in infamy, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the Obama-era net-neutrality rules. Christopher Tremoglie, National Review, "We Survived the Net-Neutrality Apocalypse," 17 June 2019 How to best memorialize the sites of mass shootings (or move past the infamy thereof) in the United States remains a thorny issue. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Concerns, Controversy Surround the Planned Construction of a Memorial and Museum at Pulse Nightclub, Site of 2016 Mass Shooting," 13 June 2019 But arguably, any infamy attached to Linda's other cases pales in comparison to that of the Central Park Jogger case. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Linda Fairstein Responds to Backlash Following Netflix's 'When They See Us'," 6 June 2019 But the actor-musician has continued to live in infamy as Chicago police, prosecutors and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have questioned his story. Nardine Saad,, "Jussie Smollett won’t return to ‘Empire,’ Lee Daniels says," 5 June 2019 Now the Americans face France, and the outcome will be an important measuring stick for U.S. Soccer, which is still recovering from World Cup-qualifying humiliation and October 10, 2017 — a day that will forever live in infamy for fans of the USMNT. Joseph Goodman |,, "Alabama-born players represent future of U.S. Soccer," 3 June 2019 Speaking of sins of the past (and present, and most definitely the future), there is nowhere in Hollywood more synonymous with infamy and intrigue than the Chateau Marmont. Rachel King, Fortune, "9 Nonfiction Page-Turners to Bring to the Beach This Summer," 22 June 2019 Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.’ Oooh. Rob Long, National Review, "Sound: Coughing," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infamy.' 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 infamy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for infamy

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for infamy

The first known use of infamy was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for infamy



English Language Learners Definition of infamy

: the condition of being known for having done bad things or for being evil
formal : an evil or terrible act


in·​fa·​my | \ ˈin-fə-mē How to pronounce infamy (audio) \
plural infamies

Kids Definition of infamy

1 : an evil reputation He earned infamy for his crimes.
2 : an evil or terrible act The people suffered the infamies of their ruler.

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More from Merriam-Webster on infamy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for infamy

Spanish Central: Translation of infamy

Nglish: Translation of infamy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about infamy

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