in·​fa·​my | \ ˈin-fə-mē \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The movie has lived on in scary movie infamy, its chilling clip of main character Regan MacNeil turning her head in a 360 degree direction providing instant nightmares. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, ""The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Will Feature an Episode Inspired by “The Exorcist”," 31 Aug. 2018 And Marcus Williams' missed tackle along the sideline will live in infamy for Saints fans. Jeff Duncan,, "6 things we learned from the Vikings' shocker vs. the Saints," 15 Jan. 2018 Since its premiere as a spin-off to the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills back in 2013, the show has given us endless quotes, gifs, and situations that will live in infamy. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "9 Dramatic 'Vanderpump Rules' Moments Nobody Can Ever Forget," 3 Dec. 2018 At one time, Mr. Mahathir might have been more suited to the hall of infamy that included Asia’s despots and junta chiefs. New York Times, "Malaysia Finds an Unlikely Champion of Democracy: Its Ex-Strongman," 11 May 2018 When She Threw Jughead That Surprise Party Betty’s (accidental) wild surprise birthday party for Jughead will live in infamy in the world of Riverdale. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "Lili Reinhart's Best 9 Moments as Betty Cooper on Riverdale," 13 Sep. 2018 In the postwar years, Korematsu v. United States sank into infamy as an unjustifiable suspension of rights and condoning of racial mistreatment. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "Court Upholds Travel Ban, but Slams Infamous Case on Japanese Internment Camps," 26 June 2018 The Mets are paying the minimum salary for Gonzalez, a first baseman, instead of bidding for Eric Hosmer, the Keith Hernandez clone who slid his way into Flushing infamy by helping the Kansas City Royals win the 2015 World Series. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Big Benefit for the Opportunistic Mets: Their Division Looks Weak," 21 Feb. 2018 His infamy has increased since then following appearances in several television shows and co-writing books recounting his past and rise as a criminal in the tough suburbs of Paris. Reuters, Washington Post, "An infamous French gangster is on the run after escaping prison in a helicopter," 1 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of infamy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about infamy

Statistics for infamy

Last Updated

28 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for infamy

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for infamy



English Language Learners Definition of infamy

: the condition of being known for having done bad things or for being evil

: an evil or terrible act


in·​fa·​my | \ ˈin-fə-mē \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on infamy

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


means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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