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[suh-leb-ri-tee] /səˈlɛb rɪ ti/
noun, plural celebrities for 1.
a famous or well-known person.
fame; renown.
Origin of celebrity
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin celebritās multitude, fame, festal celebration, equivalent to celebr- (stem of celeber) often repeated, famous + -itās -ity
Related forms
noncelebrity, noun, plural noncelebrities.
2. distinction, note, eminence, stardom. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for celebrity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Judge Andrews gave immediate promise of celebrity as an advocate.

  • But those who are caught in the clutches of celebrity at the age of twenty know nothing.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • But these pictures attain no celebrity because the public admire them, for it is not to the public that the judgment is intrusted.

  • But let celebrity stand there and enjoy her hour; to-morrow the Ploughman will come.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • The celebrity became so sensitive about it that he went back to New York before the party broke up.

    The Celebrity, Complete Winston Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for celebrity


noun (pl) -ties
a famous person: a show-business celebrity
fame or notoriety
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
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Word Origin and History for celebrity

late 14c., "solemn rite or ceremony," from Old French celebrité "celebration" or directly from Latin celibritatem (nominative celebritas) "multitude, fame," from celeber "frequented, populous" (see celebrate). Meaning "condition of being famous" is from c.1600; that of "famous person" is from 1849.

When the old gods withdraw, the empty thrones cry out for a successor, and with good management, or even without management, almost any perishable bag of bones may be hoisted into the vacant seat. [E.R. Dodds, "The Greeks and the Irrational"]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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