rep·​u·​ta·​tion ˌre-pyə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce reputation (audio)
: overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general
: recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability
has the reputation of being clever
: a place in public esteem or regard : good name
trying to protect his reputation
reputational adjective

Did you know?

For reputation, the attainment of lexical esteem begins in 14th-century Middle English in the character of reputacion, which is a borrowing of an Anglo-French word with meanings similar to the English word (referring to such things as celebrity, distinction, good name, or estimation of character). The Anglo-French is from Latin reputation-, reputatio, meaning "consideration," and ultimately from reputare, "to reckon up or to think over." That Latinate verb couples the well-known "again" prefix re- with the verb putare ("to reckon"). Renowned celebrities of the putare family are the verb repute ("to believe or consider"), the identical noun (synonymous with reputation), the adjectives reputable and reputed, and the adverb reputedly. Other putare cousins of notoriety are disputedisreputableimputation, and putative, along with their kin.

Examples of reputation in a Sentence

He has earned a reputation as a first-class playwright. a teacher with a reputation for patience Poor customer service has ruined the company's reputation.
Recent Examples on the Web Despite its aggressive reputation for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, California releases more of a climate-warming pesticide than all other states combined, most of it from homes fumigated for termites, according to a study published Wednesday. Melody Petersen, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024 Districts have wide discretion in setting their own rules and many students with disabilities quickly earn reputations at school as troublemakers. Sarah Butrymowicz, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2024 Heat pumps don’t have a reputation as being a particularly glamorous technology. Stephen Cass, IEEE Spectrum, 3 Apr. 2024 The report partly cited Musk’s controversial reputation. Trisha Thadani, Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2024 Menton was once a leading lemon-growing region in Europe, with a global reputation and exports as far as the United States and Russia in the 18th century. Barbara Surk and Daniel Cole, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 Yet his mentoring launched the careers of young Black women who built international reputations—and who clung to each other for friendship and support. Cat Woods, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Apr. 2024 Its reputation for Land of the Lost cliffs and abundant wildlife was soon validated. Susan Portnoy, Travel + Leisure, 29 Mar. 2024 If Nespresso can succeed in expanding channels with the to-go coffee shop route, so can any brand with a strong product and reputation. Clara Ludmir, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reputation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English reputacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin reputation-, reputatio consideration, from reputare

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of reputation was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near reputation

Cite this Entry

“Reputation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


rep·​u·​ta·​tion ˌrep-yə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce reputation (audio)
: overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general
a car with a good reputation
: notice by other people of some quality or ability
has the reputation of being a good tennis player
: a place in public regard : good name
trying to protect his reputation

Legal Definition


: overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general within a community see also character evidence at evidence, reputation testimony at testimony

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