• synonyms


[noh-tawr-ee-uh s, -tohr-, nuh-]
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  1. widely and unfavorably known: a notorious gambler.
  2. publicly or generally known, as for a particular trait: a newspaper that is notorious for its sensationalism.
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Origin of notorious

1540–50; < Medieval Latin nōtōrius evident, equivalent to nō(scere) to get to know (see notify) + -tōrius -tory1
Related formsno·to·ri·ous·ly, adverbno·to·ri·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedfamous infamous notorious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for notorious

flagrant, well-known, blatant, popular, wanted, infamous, prominent, dishonorable, disreputable, glaring, leading, noted, obvious, opprobrious, overt, patent, questionable, scandalous, shady, shameful

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Contemporary Examples of notorious

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British Dictionary definitions for notorious


  1. well-known for some bad or unfavourable quality, deed, etc; infamous
  2. rare generally known or widely acknowledged
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Derived Formsnotoriety (ˌnəʊtəˈraɪɪtɪ) or notoriousness, nounnotoriously, adverb

Word Origin for notorious

C16: from Medieval Latin notōrius well-known, from nōtus known, from noscere to know
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 notorious


1540s, "publicly known," from Medieval Latin notorius "well-known, commonly known," from Latin notus "known," past participle of noscere "come to know" (see know). Negative connotation arose 17c. from frequent association with derogatory nouns. Related: Notoriously.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper