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Origin of infamy
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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.
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?
- infamous (adjective)
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.
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." – FDR #PearlHarbor78 pic.twitter.com/M310zyLhyT
— Janine Stange (@THEANTHEMGIRL) December 8, 2019
Louis Wolf has died at 94. Once called Chicago’s “worst landlord,” he gained infamy for two stints behind bars — first for torching an occupied tenement in order to claim insurance money, and then for skipping out on more than $550,000 in property taxes. https://t.co/3bKYJNYY0u pic.twitter.com/62CV3hpLOW
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) October 23, 2018
BREAKING: A full 3 YEARS after launching its grotesque family-separation policy, the Trump Administration STILL cannot locate the parents of 545 children; around 2/3 of those parents were deported to C. America.
The perpetrators will live in infamy. https://t.co/n7uw7G82B0
— Gregory A. Maniatis (@gmaniatis) October 20, 2020
Try using infamy!
Is infamy used correctly in the following sentence?
The author gained infamy for her extremely controversial novel.
How to use infamy in a sentence
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.One of the Most Egregious Ripoffs in the History of Science - Issue 107: The Edge|Kevin Berger|October 20, 2021|Nautilus
So for those of us who have been using it for years, its sudden infamy was unexpected and unwelcome.What happens when your prescription drug becomes the center of covid misinformation|Abby Ohlheiser|September 8, 2021|MIT Technology Review
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.England vs Germany Offers End to 25 Years of Hurt for One Man, and a Nation|Dan Stewart|June 28, 2021|Time
Performance artist Regina Jose Galindo connects such crimes with larger political infamies in her native Guatemala.In the galleries: A painful, political take on the art of cruel shoes|Mark Jenkins|April 9, 2021|Washington Post
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.French Political Sex Movie About DSK Sets Cannes Aquiver|Tracy McNicoll|May 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Dolours Price would later gain infamy as the leader of a bombing team that devastated London in 1973.Sinn Fein Boss Gerry Adams Wanted This Murder Bust|Ed Moloney|May 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
An adult-entertainment company wants Foxy Knoxy to take a paltry sum of money to extend her 15 minutes of infamy.Porn Company Wants Amanda Knox To Star In Adult Entertainment Film|Lizzie Crocker|February 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It shall be recounted, to the perpetual infamy and dishonour of the man who uttered it.The Portsmouth Road and Its Tributaries|Charles G. Harper
Audacious manDefies the threats of the avenging sea,And to new shores and to new stars repeatsThe same sad tale of infamy and woe.The Poems of Giacomo Leopardi|Giacomo Leopardi
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.Juana|Honore de Balzac