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

Dillinger's infamy drew thousands of curious spectators who wanted a look at his body before it was buried in Section 44 of Crown Hill Cemetery, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports. CBS News, "Exhumation of 1930s gangster John Dillinger may end conspiracy theories, but dig won't be easy," 31 July 2019 The anti-bullying activist, who garnered worldwide infamy as a White House intern who had an affair with President Bill Clinton, responded to psychologist Adam Grant’s tweet asking for the worst career advice his followers had received. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "Monica Lewinsky Shares the Worst Career Advice She Ever Received. And It's Exactly What You Think," 14 July 2019 That LoVely wedding Mark this in your calendars because July 19, 2019, is a moment that will live in infamy for all LoVe fans. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "All the best LoVe scenes in Veronica Mars, including Hulu's revival season," 20 July 2019 Joseph Iscovitz picked up a machine gun to defend his country against attacking Japanese planes on a date that lives in infamy — Dec. 7, 1941. Larry Barszewski,, "Joseph Iscovitz, one of few remaining Pearl Harbor survivors, dies at 103," 10 July 2019 Number 9 had many incarnations along its path to infamy. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "The Secret History of Jeffrey Epstein's New York Townhouse," 10 July 2019 In September 1974, the Chicago Tribune ran a story about Taylor’s welfare fraud, launching her infamy. Bryce Covert, The New Republic, "The Myth of the Welfare Queen," 2 July 2019 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

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

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on infamy

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a usually brief trip or an expedition

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