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.

Example Sentences

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 Payton returned to his job a year later and polished both his resume and reputation. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 15 Jan. 2023 Experts say conditions such as inclement weather, low visibility and mountainous topography all contribute to Nepal’s reputation as a notoriously dangerous place to fly. Rhea Mogul, CNN, 15 Jan. 2023 The players voted more on reputation than production. Ben Volin,, 14 Jan. 2023 The findings deepen Exxon's reputation for climate disinformation. Lesley Clark, Scientific American, 13 Jan. 2023 Related:Will Southwest Airlines’ meltdown crash the airline’s 51-year reputation? Dallas News, 13 Jan. 2023 For nearly a decade, upstart apparel brand Tracksmith has forged a reputation for having a youthful, grassroots commitment to authentic running and a stylish retro design aesthetic. Brian Metzler, Outside Online, 13 Jan. 2023 Ireland has a reputation and a history of being more, of embracing that potential side of their land and their people and their ancestors. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 12 Jan. 2023 Latin artists should try to maintain a positive and professional reputation by staying away from any type of negative behavior that could affect their careers. Jessica Roiz, Billboard, 12 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reputation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 7 Feb. 2023.

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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