clearly or fully known: The well-known reasons are obvious.
generally or widely known: a well-known painting.

Origin of well-known

late Middle English word dating back to 1425–75

Synonyms for well-known

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for well-known

Contemporary Examples of well-known

Historical Examples of well-known

  • Eudora started, when she saw the well-known writing of Philæmon.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It is a well-known fact that all living beings like to be comfortable.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • This is too well-known a truth for me to endeavor to conceal it, especially from you.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • For several years he had been cashier in a well-known banking-house.

  • The well-known poem, beginning, "Guid morning to your Majesty."

British Dictionary definitions for well-known


adjective (well known when postpositive)

widely known; famous; celebrated
known fully or clearly
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 well-known

late 15c., from well (adv.) + past participle of know.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper