no·to·ri·e·ty | \ ˌnō-tə-ˈrī-ə-tē \
plural notorieties

Definition of notoriety 

1 : the quality or state of being notorious the city's notoriety for corrupt and incompetent government —R. E. Merriam

2 : a notorious person love to have notabilities and notorieties under one roofThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for notoriety


celebrity, fame, renown


anonymity, oblivion, obscureness, obscurity

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Examples of notoriety in a Sentence

He achieved instant fame and notoriety with the release of his film. She gained notoriety when nude photographs of her appeared in a magazine. His comment about the President has given him a notoriety that he enjoys very much.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Even a 30-year-old jobless man who recently gained notoriety after his parents went to court to evict him was offered work by a pizza chain as a publicity stunt. The Economist, "Worker shortages could heal America’s economy," 12 July 2018 The move not only gained him worldwide notoriety, but also pushed YouTube as a platform to amend its site-wide policies. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Logan Paul is filming a documentary about his controversial 2018," 5 July 2018 Traditionally, the most radical members of the Republican caucus have gained notoriety by proposing more ideologically pure legislation, or refusing to vote for passable bills. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The GOP Is Trump’s Personality Cult. Could Democrats Do the Same?," 27 June 2018 Semi-automatic weapons have gained notoriety because of their use in school shootings, such as this year in Parkland, Florida, and in 2012 in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Chrissie Thompson,, "New poll: Ohio should ban AR-15 assault weapons such as those used in school shootings," 14 June 2018 His tricks and aerial showmanship has earned him notoriety in the drone community. Ahalya Srikant, WIRED, "Photo of the Week: Taking to the Sky to End Open-Water Salmon Farms," 9 July 2018 Brixton, which gained notoriety in 1980s because of riots with police, is now gentrified with rising prices forcing out many old businesses and residents. Jane Onyanga-omara, USA TODAY, "UK honors 'Windrush generation' amid scandal over their immigration status," 22 June 2018 Charles Williams gained notoriety in the independent wrestling circuit starting the late 1980s. Fox News, "Pro wrestler Rockin' Rebel kills wife in apparent murder-suicide, police say," 7 June 2018 Merlino earned notoriety in the 1990s while purportedly leading a faction of Philadelphia’s Mafia during a long-running and violent power struggle. Chris Palmer,, "After a lifetime of fighting back, reputed Philly mob boss 'Skinny Joey' Merlino pleads guilty," 27 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for notoriety

Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French notorieté, from Medieval Latin notorietat-, notorietas, from notorius

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Statistics for notoriety

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for notoriety

The first known use of notoriety was circa 1650

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English Language Learners Definition of notoriety

: the condition of being famous or well-known especially for something bad : the state of being notorious


no·to·ri·e·ty | \ ˌnō-tə-ˈrī-ə-tē \

Kids Definition of notoriety

: the state of being widely known especially for some bad characteristic He gained notoriety with the film.

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Comments on notoriety

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


the setting in which something occurs

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