[ noh-tawr-ee-uh s, -tohr-, nuh- ]
/ noʊˈtɔr i əs, -ˈtoʊr-, nə- /


widely and unfavorably known: a notorious gambler.
publicly or generally known, as for a particular trait: a newspaper that is notorious for its sensationalism.

Origin of notorious

1540–50; < Medieval Latin nōtōrius evident, equivalent to nō(scere) to get to know (see notify) + -tōrius -tory1

Related forms

no·to·ri·ous·ly, adverbno·to·ri·ous·ness, noun

Can be confused

famous infamous notorious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for notorious

British Dictionary definitions for notorious


/ (nəʊˈtɔːrɪəs) /


well-known for some bad or unfavourable quality, deed, etc; infamous
rare generally known or widely acknowledged

Derived Forms

notoriety (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