notorious

adjective
no·​to·​ri·​ous | \ nō-ˈtȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce notorious (audio) , nə- \

Essential Meaning of notorious

: well-known or famous especially for something bad The coach is notorious for his violent outbursts. notorious [=infamous] cases of animal cruelty

Full 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

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Choose the Right Synonym for notorious

famous, renowned, celebrated, noted, notorious, distinguished, eminent, illustrious mean known far and wide. famous implies little more than the fact of being, sometimes briefly, widely and popularly known. a famous actress renowned implies more glory and acclamation. one of the most renowned figures in sports history celebrated implies notice and attention especially in print. the most celebrated beauty of her day noted suggests well-deserved public attention. the noted mystery writer notorious frequently adds to famous an implication of questionableness or evil. a notorious gangster distinguished implies acknowledged excellence or superiority. a distinguished scientist who won the Nobel Prize eminent implies even greater prominence for outstanding quality or character. the country's most eminent writers illustrious stresses enduring honor and glory attached to a deed or person. illustrious war heroes

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."

Examples of notorious in a Sentence

The coach is notorious for his violent outbursts. a notorious mastermind of terrorist activities
Recent Examples on the Web While green buildings have become increasingly commonplace around the world, Hotel Marcel stands out for its ambitious goals in an industry that is notorious for energy consumption. Adeline Chen, CNN, 7 Oct. 2021 Trends from previous years show the showers are notorious for being sleepy, with only a few flying meteors per hour. Skyler Caruso, PEOPLE.com, 6 Oct. 2021 My parties are notorious for having great music and everybody dancing. Michael Schneider, Variety, 6 Oct. 2021 South Florida is notorious for being a great retirement spot. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, 5 Oct. 2021 Corporate kitchens are notorious for offering inflammatory foods. Serena Poon, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 The damsons were themselves notorious for sending out runners. Paul Muldoon, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2021 America’s finance industry is notorious for skimming the brightest minds from every field. Time, 29 Sep. 2021 His cases are some of the most tragic and notorious in local history. Dan Sullivan, orlandosentinel.com, 4 Sep. 2021

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

1534, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for notorious

Medieval Latin notorius, from Late Latin notorium information, indictment, from Latin noscere to come to know — more at know

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The first known use of notorious was in 1534

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Notorious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/notorious. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for notorious

notorious

adjective
no·​to·​ri·​ous | \ nō-ˈtȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce notorious (audio) \

Kids Definition of notorious

: widely known especially for some bad characteristic … he caught the villain, who turned out to be a very notorious criminal.— Robert McCloskey, Homer Price

Other Words from notorious

notoriously adverb She has a notoriously bad temper.

notorious

adjective
no·​to·​ri·​ous | \ nō-ˈtōr-ē-əs How to pronounce notorious (audio) \

Legal Definition of notorious

: generally known and talked of adverse possession created by open, continuous, notorious, and adverse use

More from Merriam-Webster on notorious

Nglish: Translation of notorious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of notorious for Arabic Speakers

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