Meaning of infamous in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɪnfəməs/

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  • 1Well known for some bad quality or deed.

    ‘an infamous war criminal’
    • ‘The infamous London smog is an example of extreme air pollution.’
    • ‘Made famous, or rather infamous, by Shakespeare, Richard is put ‘on trial’ for murdering two of his nephews.’
    • ‘Let me ask you about the most famous, or infamous, use of explosives, of course, that plane that went down.’
    • ‘Two weeks ago he was again celebrated when the infamous Luas Bridge in Dundrum was named after the engineer but this time he was a Carlow man!’
    • ‘How well I remember New York delicatessens, having grown up in that city made famous and infamous by recent events.’
    • ‘I've always said that he was either going to be famous for something or infamous for something.’
    • ‘When musicians become famous - or infamous - the hype can often overshadow their talent and technique.’
    • ‘When you shake her hand, it's with an awareness of all the other hands, famous and infamous, naked and long dead, that she has shaken.’
    • ‘Still to come, some of the famous and infamous journalists who joined us during the past year.’
    • ‘Become famous, ideally infamous, through music which attracts teenagers and repels adults in equal degree.’
    • ‘Up until the early to mid eighties, Chile was famous or infamous for cheap Spanish style reds and whites.’
    • ‘He's famous, infamous even, for many exploits, none of which, you sense, has done him anything but harm.’
    • ‘Amsterdam is famous, indeed infamous, for its relaxed laws on certain narcotic substances.’
    • ‘Or was there something that took place in your village that made it famous, or infamous?’
    • ‘Famous and infamous incidents in the world of sports will be related to the child.’
    • ‘Of course there are far more famous or rather infamous figures in the history of the last two centuries.’
    • ‘Once society felt certain of the difference between the famous and the infamous.’
    • ‘However, it is those same traits that have made her famous and infamous in equal measure.’
    • ‘Debates about ethics have often accompanied well-known, not to say infamous, cases of alleged ethical transgression.’
    • ‘Names of the renowned and the infamous are forever appearing in books, articles, and primary materials.’
    notorious, disreputable, ill-famed, of ill-repute
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    1. 1.1Wicked; abominable.
      ‘the medical council disqualified him for infamous misconduct’
      • ‘In the minds of many people, Judas Iscariot is one of the most wickedly infamous men of Bible History.’
      • ‘This goes to the heart of what the infamous international comparison was all about - objective quality.’
      • ‘He was widely regarded as a lock for the top three and a very strong contender just two weeks before his infamous misconduct.’
      • ‘Darcy writes to her, outlining his role in influencing Bingley and tells her about Wickham’s infamous misconduct with Darcy’s sister’
      • ‘An infamous character might be very likely to be a charge on the State.’
      abominable, outrageous, shocking, shameful, disgraceful, dishonourable, discreditable, unworthy, unprincipled, unscrupulous
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    2. 1.2Law historical (of a person) deprived of all or some citizens' rights as a consequence of conviction for a serious crime.
      • ‘Amiterre legem terrae (literally, "to lose the law of the land") is a Latin phrase used in law, signifying the forfeiture of the right of swearing in any court or cause, or to become infamous.’


Late Middle English from medieval Latin infamosus, from Latin infamis (based on fama ‘fame’).