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[noh-tawr-ee-uh s, -tohr-, nuh-] /noʊˈtɔr i əs, -ˈtoʊr-, nə-/
widely and unfavorably known:
a notorious gambler.
publicly or generally known, as for a particular trait:
a newspaper that is notorious for its sensationalism.
1540-50; < Medieval Latin nōtōrius evident, equivalent to (scere) to get to know (see notify) + -tōrius -tory1
Related forms
notoriously, adverb
notoriousness, noun
Can be confused
famous, infamous, notorious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for notorious
  • They are perhaps the world's most notorious wild lions.
  • That was a most notorious gambling hall eighty years ago.
  • He didn't lose a single game in his five matches here and kept his notorious temper in check.
  • It so happens that pilots are notoriously leery of simulators.
  • My generation is notorious for its "cop-outs.
  • Those who bemoan the current system point to notorious busts.
  • Spiders are notorious hunters, luring prey into their sticky webs or ambushing them from behind a leaf.
  • On open ended simulations, the results are sensitive to a limited number of inputs and notorious for their inaccuracy.
  • The barbed diminutives of civil servants are notorious.
  • The bestselling writer is notorious for blurring the boundary between fact and fiction, and his latest book is no exception.
British Dictionary definitions for notorious


well-known for some bad or unfavourable quality, deed, etc; infamous
(rare) generally known or widely acknowledged
Derived Forms
notoriety (ˌnəʊtəˈraɪɪtɪ), notoriousness, noun
notoriously, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin notōrius well-known, from nōtus known, from noscere to know
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 notorious

1540s, "publicly known," from Medieval Latin notorius "well-known, commonly known," from Latin notus "known," past participle of noscere "come to know" (see know). Negative connotation arose 17c. from frequent association with derogatory nouns. Related: Notoriously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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