re·​nown | \ ri-ˈnau̇n How to pronounce renown (audio) \

Definition of renown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a state of being widely acclaimed and highly honored : fame
2 obsolete : report, rumor


renowned; renowning; renowns

Definition of renown (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give renown to

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for renown

Synonyms: Noun

celebrity, fame, notoriety

Antonyms: Noun

anonymity, oblivion, obscureness, obscurity

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of renown in a Sentence


He achieved great renown for his discoveries. Her photographs have earned her international renown.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nixon, a photographer of national renown whose works have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, lent star power to MassArt’s small photography department. Malcolm Gay,, "Sex, power, and photography. At MassArt, how far is too far?," 4 Apr. 2018 Sydney, 96, earned renown representing Nelson Mandela in his 1950s treason trial, winning an acquittal. Julie Belcove, WSJ, "William Kentridge Tackles the History of Apartheid and Colonialism in His Latest Production," 4 Dec. 2018 The hub of the gyroscopic story is Houghton Forster, who creates PanCola in his Mississippi pharmacy near the end of the 19th century and through tireless lobbying and clever branding raises it to international renown. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Flavor of the American Century," 15 Feb. 2019 Well received by critics, Viertel’s book subsequently slipped through the cracks of renown. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "The Émigré Who Knew Everyone," 16 Jan. 2019 In the holiday feature, viewers get to see the beautiful area where bakery worker Ellie (Brooke D'Orsay) and city-slicking CEO Nick (Daniel Lissing) will battle over the future of the business, which is renown for its Christmas Kringle pastries. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Hallmark's New 'Christmas in Love' Movie Was Filmed in the Most Romantic Small Town," 11 Nov. 2018 Since its creation in 1993, de GRISOGONO has become world renown for its daring creativity and commitment to extraordinary artistry. Town & Country, "Town & Country's 2018 Philanthropy Summit," 6 Apr. 2018 There are few country music stars as renown as Kenny Chesney, which is likely why he’s been nominated for the Entertainer title over 10 times (and won four) throughout his career. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Everything to Know About the CMA Awards 2018 Entertainer of the Year Nominees," 12 Nov. 2018 More celebrities who appear in the movie are Morgan Freeman as Drosselmeyer, and the world renown ballerina Misty Copeland, who makes every plié and rélevé look effortless. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The Trailer for the New ‘Nutcracker’ Movie Is Here and It’s So Magical," 5 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In Moscow, the mayor fired the director of the city’s renowned Gorky Park after 13 people were injured when a wooden pedestrian bridge packed with New Year’s celebrants collapsed. Jim Heintz, The Seattle Times, "Russian baby rescued after nearly 36 hours in frozen rubble," 2 Jan. 2019 James Turrell, an art-world legend renowned for mind-bending experiments with space and light, has revealed a new master plan to complete his most ambitious project ever. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: Lucky Stars," 17 Jan. 2019 The lesson, reinforced at a tragic cost of 189 lives, is that the aviation industry will have to fold data quality and the care and feeding of ML and AI systems into the safety culture that commercial aviation is already renowned for. Alyson Behr, Ars Technica, "More than an auto-pilot, AI charts its course in aviation," 5 Dec. 2018 Ajax and RB Leipzig are both understood to be interested in the player's availability this summer too, with both sides renowned for developing young talent., "Newcastle Reportedly Interested In Signing Talented Spurs Prospect and England U-20 International," 10 June 2018 In a similar vein, the campus of UC San Diego has become world-renowned for it contemporary art installations. G. James Daichendt,, "5 must-see San Diego visual arts experiences," 10 June 2018 An English gunsmith with a shop on London's Haymarket Street, Wogdon made pistols that were world-renowned for being plain, practical, and balanced. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Duels, Blood, And Politics: The Little-Known History of the Gun That Killed Alexander Hamilton," 6 June 2018 My tummy was entirely happy as the Raipur family’s food has been renowned through seven generations for lavish food (the old kitchens are cavernous at Monty’s fort in the village) and the vegetables are fresh from the bagh, or garden. Victoria Mather, A-LIST, "India Files: the Princely Grandeur of Rajasthan," 20 June 2018 Roberto Firmino's skills are no secret at this point, with Liverpool's Brazilian ace renowned for the flair and trickery which has helped him become one of the Premier League's deadliest front men., "WATCH: Liverpool Star Roberto Firmino Displays His Skills in Awesome 'No-Look Challenge' Video," 17 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for renown


Middle English renoun, from Anglo-French renum, renoun, from renomer to report, speak of, from re- + nomer to name, from Latin nominare, from nomin-, nomen name — more at name

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about renown

Statistics for renown

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for renown

The first known use of renown was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for renown



English Language Learners Definition of renown

somewhat formal : great fame and respect


re·​nown | \ ri-ˈnau̇n How to pronounce renown (audio) \

Kids Definition of renown

: the state of being widely and favorably known

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on renown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with renown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for renown

Spanish Central: Translation of renown

Nglish: Translation of renown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of renown for Arabic Speakers

Comments on renown

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!