having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated: a famous writer. famed, notable, illustrious. unknown, obscure.
Informal. first-rate; excellent: The singer gave a famous performance.
notorious (used pejoratively).

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin fāmōsus. See fame, -ous

famously, adverb
famousness, noun
overfamous, adjective
prefamous, adjective
prefamously, adverb
pseudofamous, adjective
pseudofamously, adverb
quasi-famous, adjective
quasi-famously, adverb
unfamous, adjective

famous, infamous, notorious.

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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
famous (ˈfeɪməs)
1.  known to or recognized by many people; renowned
2.  informal excellent; splendid
3.  archaic of ill repute
[C14: from Latin fāmōsus; see fame]

famously (ˈfeɪməslɪ)
1.  well-known: her famously relaxed manner
2.  very well: the two got on famously

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from Anglo-Fr. famous, from O.Fr. fameus, from L. famosus, from fama (see fame). A native word for this was O.E. namcuð, lit. "name-known." Catch phrase famous last words "remark likely to be proved wrong" is first attested 1948.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
French-American Mid-Ocean Undersea Study
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for famously
This distinction is famously illustrated by the following pair of sentences.
The technique of niello is also famously attested in prehistoric greece.
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