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[fey-muh s] /ˈfeɪ məs/
having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated:
a famous writer.
Antonyms: unknown, obscure.
Informal. first-rate; excellent:
The singer gave a famous performance.
notorious (used pejoratively).
Origin of famous
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin fāmōsus. See fame, -ous
Related forms
famously, adverb
famousness, noun
overfamous, adjective
prefamous, adjective
prefamously, adverb
pseudofamous, adjective
pseudofamously, adverb
quasi-famous, adjective
quasi-famously, adverb
unfamous, adjective
Can be confused
famous, infamous, notorious.
Synonym Study
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for famousness
Historical Examples
  • She had taken in the housemaid and small-boy view of famousness, and she was having her shallow little day of living it.

    The Other Girls Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
British Dictionary definitions for famousness


known to or recognized by many people; renowned
(informal) excellent; splendid
(archaic) of ill repute
Derived Forms
famousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin fāmōsus; see fame
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 famousness



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for famousness


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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