Definition of notorious
: generally known and talked of iron is a notorious conductor of heat — Lewis Mumford; especially : widely and unfavorably known a notorious gangster an area notorious for soot, smog, and dust — Pliotron
notorious was our Word of the Day on 04/29/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of notorious in a sentence
The coach is notorious for his violent outbursts.
a notorious mastermind of terrorist activities
Did You Know?
Notorious was adopted into English in the 16th century from Medieval Latin notorius, itself from Late Latin's noun notorium, meaning "information" or "indictment." "Notorium," in turn, derives from the Latin verb noscere, meaning "to come to know." Although "notorious" can be a synonym of "famous," meaning simply "widely known," it long ago developed the additional implication of someone or something unpleasant or undesirable. The Book of Common Prayer Offices of 1549 includes the first known use of the unfavorable meaning in print, referring to "notorious synners."
Origin and Etymology of notorious
Medieval Latin notorius, from Late Latin notorium information, indictment, from Latin noscere to come to know — more at know
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of notorious
NOTORIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of notorious for English Language Learners
: well-known or famous especially for something bad
NOTORIOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of notorious for Students
: widely known especially for some bad characteristic … he caught the villain, who turned out to be a very notorious criminal. — Robert McClosky, Homer Price
notoriouslyadverb She has a notoriously bad temper.
Legal Definition of notorious
: generally known and talked of adverse possession created by open, continuous, notorious, and adverse use
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up notorious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).