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[feym] /feɪm/
widespread reputation, especially of a favorable character; renown; public eminence:
to seek fame as an opera singer.
common estimation or opinion generally held of a person or thing; reputation.
verb (used with object), famed, faming.
Archaic. to have or spread the renown of; to make famous.
Origin of fame
1175-1225; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin fāma talk, public opinion, repute, akin to fārī to speak
Related forms
fameless, adjective
outfame, verb (used with object), outfamed, outfaming.
self-fame, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for fame


the state of being widely known or recognized; renown; celebrity
(archaic) rumour or public report
(transitive; now usually passive) to make known or famous; celebrate: he was famed for his ruthlessness
Derived Forms
famed, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Latin fāma report; related to fārī to say
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 fame

early 13c., "character attributed to someone;" late 13c., "celebrity, renown," from Old French fame "fame, reputation, renown, rumor," from Latin fama "talk, rumor, report, reputation," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (cf. Sanskrit bhanati "speaks;" Latin fari "to say," fabula "narrative, account, tale, story;" Armenian ban, bay "word, term;" Old Church Slavonic bajati "to talk, tell;" Old English boian "to boast," ben "prayer, request;" Greek pheme "talk," phone "voice, sound," phanai "to speak;" Old Irish bann "law").

The goddess Fama was the personification of rumor in Roman mythology. The Latin derivative fabulare was the colloquial word for "speak, talk" since the time of Plautus, whence Spanish hablar.

I've always been afraid I was going to tap the world on the shoulder for 20 years, and when it finally turned around I was going to forget what I had to say. [Tom Waits, "Playboy" magazine interview, March, 1988]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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