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famous

[fey-muh s]
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adjective
  1. having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated: a famous writer.
  2. Informal. first-rate; excellent: The singer gave a famous performance.
  3. notorious (used pejoratively).
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Origin of famous

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin fāmōsus. See fame, -ous
Related formsfa·mous·ly, adverbfa·mous·ness, nouno·ver·fa·mous, adjectivepre·fa·mous, adjectivepre·fa·mous·ly, adverbpseu·do·fa·mous, adjectivepseu·do·fa·mous·ly, adverbqua·si-fa·mous, adjectivequa·si-fa·mous·ly, adverbun·fa·mous, adjective
Can be confusedfamous infamous notorious

Synonym study

1. Famous, celebrated, eminent, distinguished refer to someone or something widely and favorably known. Famous is the general word: a famous lighthouse. Celebrated originally referred to something commemorated, but now usually refers to someone or something widely known for conspicuous merit, services, etc.: a celebrated writer. Eminent implies high standing among one's contemporaries, especially in one's own profession or craft: an eminent physician. Distinguished adds to eminent the idea of honors conferred more or less publicly: a distinguished scientist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for unfamous

famous

adjective
  1. known to or recognized by many people; renowned
  2. informal excellent; splendid
  3. archaic of ill repute
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Derived Formsfamousness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin fāmōsus; see fame
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for unfamous

famous

adj.

late 14c., from Anglo-French famous, Old French fameus (Modern French fameux), from Latin famosus "much talked of, renowned," often "infamous, notorious, of ill repute," from fama (see fame (n.)). A native word for this was Old English namcuð, literally "name-known." Catch phrase famous last words "remark likely to be proved wrong" is first attested 1948.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper