having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated: a famous writer.
Informal. first-rate; excellent: The singer gave a famous performance.
notorious (used pejoratively).
Origin of famous
1350–1400;Middle English < Anglo-French < Latinfāmōsus. See fame, -ous
Related formsfa·mous·ly, adverbfa·mous·ness, nouno·ver·fa·mous, adjectivepre·fa·mous, adjectivepre·fa·mous·ly, adverbpseu·do·fa·mous, adjectivepseu·do·fa·mous·ly, adverbqua·si-fa·mous, adjectivequa·si-fa·mous·ly, adverbun·fa·mous, adjectiveCan be confusedfamousinfamousnotorious
1. Famous,celebrated,eminent,distinguished refer to someone or something widely and favorably known. Famous is the general word: a famous lighthouse.Celebrated originally referred to something commemorated, but now usually refers to someone or something widely known for conspicuous merit, services, etc.: a celebrated writer.Eminent implies high standing among one's contemporaries, especially in one's own profession or craft: an eminent physician.Distinguished adds to eminent the idea of honors conferred more or less publicly: a distinguished scientist.
late 14c., from Anglo-French famous, Old French fameus (Modern French fameux), from Latin famosus "much talked of, renowned," often "infamous, notorious, of ill repute," from fama (see fame (n.)). A native word for this was Old English namcuð, literally "name-known." Catch phrase famous last words "remark likely to be proved wrong" is first attested 1948.