famous

[fey-muh s]

adjective

having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated: a famous writer.
Informal. first-rate; excellent: The singer gave a famous performance.
notorious (used pejoratively).

Nearby words

  1. family-tree theory,
  2. famine,
  3. famish,
  4. famished,
  5. famotidine,
  6. famous last words,
  7. famously,
  8. famulus,
  9. fan,
  10. fan base

Origin of famous

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin fāmōsus. See fame, -ous

Related forms
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for famous


British Dictionary definitions for famous

famous

adjective

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

Word Origin for famous

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 famous

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper