View synonyms for infamy


[ in-fuh-mee ]


, plural in·fa·mies
  1. extremely bad reputation, public reproach, or strong condemnation as the result of a shameful, criminal, or outrageous act:

    a time that will live in infamy.

    Synonyms: obloquy, disrepute, shame, opprobrium, odium

    Antonyms: honor, credit

  2. infamous character or conduct.
  3. an infamous act or circumstance.
  4. Law. loss of rights, incurred by conviction of an infamous offense.


/ ˈɪnfəmɪ /


  1. the state or condition of being infamous
  2. an infamous act or event

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Word History and Origins

Origin of infamy1

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English infamye, from Latin infāmia, equivalent to infām(is) “ill-famed” ( in- in- 3 + fām(a) fame + -is adjective suffix) + -ia -y 3

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Word History and Origins

Origin of infamy1

C15: from Latin infāmis of evil repute, from in- 1+ fāma fame

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

Watson’s portrayal of Franklin as a raging termagant who one day “in her hot anger” was going to strike Watson for interrupting her constituted one scene that lived in infamy for years.

So for those of us who have been using it for years, its sudden infamy was unexpected and unwelcome.

He appeared in a Pizza Hut commercial later that year poking fun at his infamy, and after retiring as a player went on to become a successful manager.

From Time

Performance artist Regina Jose Galindo connects such crimes with larger political infamies in her native Guatemala.

In always admiring and sometimes loving detail, Isaacson narrates the excitement of discovery, the heat of competition, and the rise of scientific celebrity—and, in He’s case, infamy.

Some were even questioning if the NFL could survive its own infamy.

Lane is one of those criminals whose 15 minutes of infamy never seem to end.

Next day, DSK was perp-walking his way, haggard and grizzled, into infamy.

Dolours Price would later gain infamy as the leader of a bombing team that devastated London in 1973.

An adult-entertainment company wants Foxy Knoxy to take a paltry sum of money to extend her 15 minutes of infamy.

It shall be recounted, to the perpetual infamy and dishonour of the man who uttered it.

Audacious manDefies the threats of the avenging sea,And to new shores and to new stars repeatsThe same sad tale of infamy and woe.

But this pious reverence gave place to a more mercenary spirit, and the trade in relics became a traffic of infamy and disgrace.

It was then the badge of infamy and sign of shame—the punishment of the basest of slaves and the vilest of malefactors.

Diard was placed by public opinion on the bench of infamy where many an able man was already seated.


Related Words

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More About Infamy

What does infamy mean?

Infamy is the state of having a bad or evil reputation—the state of being infamous.

The adjective infamous means having, deserving, or resulting in a bad or evil reputation. It’s typically used to describe people, actions, and events. It’s especially used in the context of violent crimes, scandals, and tragedies.

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

Infamy can mean infamous behavior, or it can mean the condemnation resulting from such behavior. Sometimes, it means about the same thing as shame or disgrace.

Infamy is often used interchangeably with the word notoriety, which is the state or quality of being notorious—famous or well-known for a negative reason. But while notoriety can be used in a more neutral way to mean about the same thing as fame, infamy is always used negatively and usually involves a bad reputation.

Example: Their heinous crimes will live in infamy.

Where does infamy come from?

The first records of the word infamy come from the 1400s. It comes from the Latin infām(is), meaning “ill-famed” or “of evil repute.” At the root of infamy is the Latin fāma, which means “fame” and is also the basis of that word.

Infamy implies a sense of enduring 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.

Perhaps the most famous use of the word is from President Franklin Roosevelt’s address following the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor naval base on December 7, 1941, which he called “a date which will live in infamy.”

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What are some other forms related to infamy?

What are some synonyms for infamy?

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

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

How is infamy used in real life?

Infamy is always used negatively. It’s usually used in the context of crime or serious wrongdoing, unless it’s being used ironically.



Try using infamy!

Is infamy used correctly in the following sentence?

The author gained infamy for her extremely controversial novel.