infamous

[ in-fuh-muhs ]
/ ˈɪn fə məs /

adjective

having an extremely bad reputation: an infamous city.
deserving of or causing an evil reputation; shamefully malign; detestable: an infamous deed.
Law.
  1. deprived of certain rights as a citizen, as a consequence of conviction of certain offenses.
  2. of or relating to offenses involving such deprivation.

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Origin of infamous

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin infām(is) (see infamy) + -ous

OTHER WORDS FROM infamous

in·fa·mous·ly, adverbin·fa·mous·ness, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH infamous

famous, infamous , notorious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does infamous mean?

Infamous means having, deserving, or resulting in a bad or evil reputation.

The word is typically used to describe people, actions, and events. It’s especially used in the context of violent crimes, scandals, and tragedies.

Infamous is often used interchangeably with the word notorious, which most commonly means famous or well-known for a negative reason.

But infamous is also sometimes used in a more general way to describe things, such as behavior, as shameful, shocking, detestable, vile, heinous, or scandalous.

The state of quality of being infamous is infamy.

Example: The infamous bank robber was known for setting fire to the crime scene while making his escape.

Where does infamous come from?

The first records of the word infamous come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin infām(is), meaning “ill-famed” or “of evil repute.” At the root of infamous is the Latin fāma, which means “fame” and is also the basis of that word. The suffix -ous means “possessing” or “full of” and is used to form adjectives.

Like notorious, infamous implies a sense of fame—and not for something good. When a person is labeled as infamous, it usually means that they have done something (usually something very bad) to bring them infamy—an extremely bad reputation. Often, the worse the thing is, the more infamous the person is. The word can also be applied to actions, events, or places where bad things happened.

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What are some other forms related to infamous?

 

  • infamously (adverb)
  • infamousness (noun)
  • infamy (noun)

What are some synonyms for infamous?

What are some words that share a root or word element with infamous

What are some words that often get used in discussing infamous?

 

How is infamous used in real life?

Infamous is always used negatively. It can be used to describe a person, action, event, or place. It’s especially used in the context of crimes or other serious wrongdoing.

 

Try using infamous!

Is infamous used correctly in the following sentence?

The author became infamous for her extremely controversial novel.

Example sentences from the Web for infamous

British Dictionary definitions for infamous

infamous
/ (ˈɪnfəməs) /

adjective

having a bad reputation; notorious
causing or deserving a bad reputation; shockinginfamous conduct
criminal law (formerly)
  1. (of a person) deprived of certain rights of citizenship on conviction of certain offences
  2. (of a crime or punishment) entailing such deprivation

Derived forms of infamous

infamously, adverbinfamousness, 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