[ fey-muhs ]
See synonyms for: famousfamouslyfamousness on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. unfavorably known; notorious: In my family, my uncle is famous for his bad jokes.

Origin of famous

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin fāmōsus; see origin at fame, -ous

synonym study For famous

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.

Other words for famous

Opposites for famous

Other words from famous

  • fa·mous·ly, adverb
  • fa·mous·ness, noun
  • o·ver·fa·mous, adjective
  • pre·fa·mous, adjective
  • pre·fa·mous·ly, adverb
  • pseu·do·fa·mous, adjective
  • pseu·do·fa·mous·ly, adverb
  • quasi-famous, adjective
  • qua·si-fa·mous·ly, adverb
  • un·fa·mous, adjective

Words that may be confused with famous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use famous in a sentence

  • She had taken in the housemaid and small-boy view of famousness, and she was having her shallow little day of living it.

    The Other Girls | Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

British Dictionary definitions for famous


/ (ˈfeɪməs) /

  1. known to or recognized by many people; renowned

  2. informal excellent; splendid

  1. archaic of ill repute

Origin of famous

C14: from Latin fāmōsus; see fame

Derived forms of famous

  • famousness, noun

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