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a. The state of being widely known, recognized, or of great popular interest: a singer of international fame.
b. Public estimation; reputation: a politician of ill fame.
2. Archaic Rumor.
tr.v. famed, fam·ing, fames
1. To make renowned or famous.
2. Archaic To report to be: "The fancy cannot cheat so well / As she is famed to do" (John Keats).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin fāma; see bhā- in Indo-European roots.]


1. the state of being widely known or recognized; renown; celebrity
2. archaic rumour or public report
(tr; now usually passive) to make known or famous; celebrate: he was famed for his ruthlessness.
[C13: from Latin fāma report; related to fārī to say]
famed adj



n., v. famed, fam•ing. n.
1. renown; public eminence.
2. public estimation; reputation.
3. Archaic. to spread the renown of; make famous.
[1175–1225; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin fāma talk]


- Also meant "reputation" in early contexts.
See also related terms for reputation.




  1. Celebrities … get consumed just as fast as new improved soaps, new clothing fashions and new ideas —Russell Baker
  2. Celebrities used to be found like pearls in oysters and with much the same defensive mechanisms —Barbara Walters
  3. Celebrity is like having an extra lump of sugar in your coffee —Mikhail Baryshnikov
  4. Fame always melts like ice cream in the dish —Delmore Schwartz
  5. Fame grows like a tree with hidden life —Horace
  6. Fame is a colored patch on a ragged garment —Alexander Pushkin
  7. Fame is like a crop of Canada thistles, very easy to sow, but hard to reap —Josh Billings

    In Billings’ phonetic dialect this reads: “Fame is like a crop ov kanada thissels, very eazy tew sew, but hard tew reap.”

  8. Fame isn’t a thing. It’s a feeling. Like what you get after a pill —Joyce Cary
  9. Fame … it’s like having a string of pearls given you. It’s nice, but after a while, if you think of it at all, it’s only to wonder if they’re real or cultured —W. Somerset Maugham
  10. Fame, like a river, is narrowest at its source and broadest afar off —Proverb
  11. Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy to those who woo her with too slavish knees —John Keats
  12. Fame, like man, will grow white as it grows old —Abraham Cowley
  13. Fame, like water, bears up the lighter things, and lets the weighty sink —Sir Samuel Tuke

    A slight variation by Francis Bacon: “Fame is like a river, that bears (modernized from ‘beareth’) on things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.”

  14. Fame to the ambitious, is like salt water to the thirsty, the more one gets the more he wants —Emil Ebers
  15. Glories, like glow-worms afar off, shine bright, but looked at near have neither heat nor light —John Webster

    Slightly modernized from “Afar off shine bright, but look’d too near have neither heat nor light.”

  16. Glory is like a circle in the water, which never ceases to enlarge itself till by broad spreading it disperse to nought —William Shakespeare

    Shakespeare used the old English ‘ceathes.’

  17. Her life had become akin to living inside a drum with the whole world beating on the outside —Barbara Seaman

    In her biography of Susann, Lovely Me, this is how Seaman describes her subject’s life after she becomes a famous author.

  18. Like grass that autumn yellows your fame will wither away —Phyllis McGinley
  19. Like madness is the glory of this life —William Shakespeare
  20. Men’s fame is like their hair, which grows after they are dead, and with just as little use to them —George Villiers
  21. Our glories float between the earth and heaven like clouds which seem pavilions of the son —Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  22. Posterity is a switchboard to past, present and future —Karl Shapiro
  23. The public’s appetite for famous people is big as a mountain —Robert Motherwell, New York Times, January 22, 1986
  24. The way to fame is like the way to heaven, through much tribulation —Lawrence Sterne



in good odor In favor, in good repute; highly regarded, esteemed. Odor in this phrase means ‘repute, estimation.’ In good odor appeared in print as early as the mid-19th century. Also current is its opposite in bad or ill repute ‘out of favor, disreputable.’

When a person is in ill odour it is quite wonderful how weak the memories of his former friends become. (Charles Haddon Spur-geon, The Treasury of David, 1870)

in the limelight In the public eye; famous or infamous; featured; acclaimed; exalted. Before the discovery of electricity, theater spotlights burned a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases in a lime (calcium oxide) cylinder. This produced an intense light which could be focused by lenses on a featured actor or actress, thus drawing the audience’s attention to that performer.

The town hardly gets its full share of the limelight because of the hero. (Aldous Huxley, Letters, 1934)

name in lights Fame, notoriety, recognition, acclaim. In the world of theater, the name of a well-known or featured actor or actress may be displayed in lights on the marquee over the theater’s entrance, thus drawing the public’s attention and, it is hoped, their patronage.

I couldn’t wait to get up there with the best of them and see my name up in lights—topping the bill at the Palladium. (Guardian, January 15, 1972)

In contemporary usage, this expression is sometimes employed figuratively, and is no longer strictly limited to performing artists.

a place in the sun A position of favor, prominence, or recognition; a nice, warm, comfortable spot; a share in the blessings of the earth. Theoretically every individual is entitled to the benefits symbolized by the sun—life, growth, prosperity. The expression has been traced back to Pascal’s Pensées, translated as follows:

This dog’s mine, says the poor child: this is my place, in the sun. (Bishop Kennett, Pascal’s Thoughts, 1727)

put on the map To establish the prominence of a person or place; to make well known or famous. This expression originally referred to an obscure community which, following the occurrence of a newsworthy event, was noted on maps. The common phrase now describes a happening that thrusts a person or object into the public limelight.

“The Fortune Hunter,” the play that put Winchell Smith on the dramatists’ map. (Munsey’s Magazine, June, 1916)

set the world on fire To achieve far-reaching success and renown; to make a name for one-self. This expression originated from the British set the Thames on fire, in which Thames is sometimes mistakenly thought to be derived homonymously from temse ‘sieve,’ through feeble allusion to a hard worker who uses a sieve with such celerity that the friction causes a fire. This theory is discounted by the fact that the French, Germans, and Italians all have similar sayings in regard to their own historic waterways, sayings which predate the English phrase. Thus, set the Thames on fire is undoubtedly the English version of the foreign expressions. When the phrase reached the United States, it was apparently Americanized to set the river on fire. As worldwide commerce and communication evolved, the phrase assumed its more cosmopolitan but somewhat less phenomenal form of set the world on fire. While the expression today usually implies the success of a vital and ambitious person, it is also applied negatively to the nonsuccess of a slow or lazy person. The term perhaps gained greater popularity through its incorporation into the lyrics of Bennie Benjamin’s song /Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire (1941).


Past participle: famed
Gerund: faming

I fame
you fame
he/she/it fames
we fame
you fame
they fame
I famed
you famed
he/she/it famed
we famed
you famed
they famed
Present Continuous
I am faming
you are faming
he/she/it is faming
we are faming
you are faming
they are faming
Present Perfect
I have famed
you have famed
he/she/it has famed
we have famed
you have famed
they have famed
Past Continuous
I was faming
you were faming
he/she/it was faming
we were faming
you were faming
they were faming
Past Perfect
I had famed
you had famed
he/she/it had famed
we had famed
you had famed
they had famed
I will fame
you will fame
he/she/it will fame
we will fame
you will fame
they will fame
Future Perfect
I will have famed
you will have famed
he/she/it will have famed
we will have famed
you will have famed
they will have famed
Future Continuous
I will be faming
you will be faming
he/she/it will be faming
we will be faming
you will be faming
they will be faming
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been faming
you have been faming
he/she/it has been faming
we have been faming
you have been faming
they have been faming
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been faming
you will have been faming
he/she/it will have been faming
we will have been faming
you will have been faming
they will have been faming
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been faming
you had been faming
he/she/it had been faming
we had been faming
you had been faming
they had been faming
I would fame
you would fame
he/she/it would fame
we would fame
you would fame
they would fame
Past Conditional
I would have famed
you would have famed
he/she/it would have famed
we would have famed
you would have famed
they would have famed
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fame - the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimedfame - the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed
honour, laurels, honor - the state of being honored
infamy, opprobrium - a state of extreme dishonor; "a date which will live in infamy"- F.D.Roosevelt; "the name was a by-word of scorn and opprobrium throughout the city"
2.fame - favorable public reputationfame - favorable public reputation    
reputation, repute - the state of being held in high esteem and honor
infamy - evil fame or public reputation


noun prominence, glory, celebrity, stardom, name, credit, reputation, honour, prestige, stature, eminence, renown, repute, public esteem, illustriousness At the height of his fame, his every word was valued.
shame, disgrace, obscurity, oblivion, disrepute, ignominy, dishonour, infamy
"If fame is to come only after death, I am in no hurry for it" [Martial Epigrams]
"In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes" [Andy Warhol exhibition catalogue]
"Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise"
"(That last infirmity of noble mind)"
"To scorn delights, and live laborious days" [John Milton Lycidas]
"Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things heavy and solid" [Francis Bacon Essays]
"Fame is a food that dead men eat -"
"I have no stomach for such meat" [Henry Austin Dobson Fame is a Food]
"Famous men have the whole earth as their memorial" [Pericles]


1. Wide recognition for one's deeds:
2. A position of exalted widely recognized importance:
sự nổi tiếng


[feɪm] Nfama f
Margaret Mitchell, of "Gone with the Wind" fameMargaret Mitchell, famosa por su novela "Lo que el viento se llevó"
fame and fortunefama f y fortuna f


[ˈfeɪm] nrenommée f
fame as sth
her fame as a children's author → sa renommée d'auteur de livres pour enfants
to rise to fame → devenir célèbre
to shoot to fame → connaître une célébrité fulgurante
to rise to fame as sth → se faire un nom en tant que qch
fame and fortune → la gloire et la fortune
J.K. Rowling, of "Harry Potter" fame → J.K. Rowling, le célèbre auteur d'"Harry Potter"
John Lennon, of Beatles fame → John Lennon, le chanteur du célèbre groupe les Beatles


nRuhm m; fame and fortuneRuhm und Reichtum; of ill famevon üblem Ruf, berüchtigt; to come to fameRuhm erlangen, zu Ruhm kommen; to win fame for somethingsich (dat)durch etw einen Namen machen; is that the Joseph Heller of “Catch-22” fame?ist das der berühmte Joseph Heller, der „Catch-22“ geschrieben hat?; Borg of Wimbledon 1979 fameBorg, der sich 1979 in Wimbledon einen Namen gemacht hat


[feɪm] nfama, celebrità
his fame as a musician → la sua fama di musicista


(feim) noun
the quality of being well-known. Her novels brought her fame.
ˈfamous adjective
well-known (for good or worthy reasons). She is famous for her strength.
ˈfamously adverb
very well.


سُمْعَة proslulost berømmelse Ruhm φήμη fama kuuluisuus célébrité slava fama 名声 명예 roem berømmelse sława fama слава kändisskap ชื่อเสียง ün sự nổi tiếng 名声


n. fama, nombre.
References in classic literature ?
But great plans fermented in her busy brain and ambitious mind, and the old tin kitchen in the garret held a slowly increasing pile of blotted manuscript, which was one day to place the name of March upon the roll of fame.
They became his distinguishing feature, the source of his fame.
Or, `I shall set my heart upon this musician, whose fame is on every tongue?
They had recently seen a chosen army from that country, which, reverencing as a mother, they had blindly believed invincible--an army led by a chief who had been selected from a crowd of trained warriors, for his rare military endowments, disgracefully routed by a handful of French and Indians, and only saved from annihilation by the coolness and spirit of a Virginian boy, whose riper fame has since diffused itself, with the steady influence of moral truth, to the uttermost confines of Christendom.
A few immigrant wagons, diverted from the highways of travel by the fame of the new diggings, halted upon the slopes of Devil's Spur and on the arid flats of the Ford, and disgorged their sallow freight of alkali-poisoned, prematurely-aged women and children and maimed and fever-stricken men.
It is a good lesson -- though it may often be a hard one -- for a man who has dreamed of literary fame, and of making for himself a rank among the world's dignitaries by such means, to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized and to find how utterly devoid of significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.
This same gentleman, having heard of the fame of George's invention, took a ride over to the factory, to see what this intelligent chattel had been about.
It is pitiful when a man bears a name for convenience merely, who has earned neither name nor fame.
The fame of the miracle went abroad into all lands.
This lady was full of the praises of the head-tenor who had performed in a Wagner opera the night before, and went on to enlarge upon his old and prodigious fame, and how many honors had been lavished upon him by the princely houses of Germany.
And at the zenith of his fame, how he would suddenly appear at the old village and stalk into church, brown and weather-beaten, in his black velvet doublet and trunks, his great jack-boots, his crimson sash, his belt bristling with horse-pistols, his crime-rusted cut- lass at his side, his slouch hat with waving plumes, his black flag unfurled, with the skull and crossbones on it, and hear with swelling ecstasy the whisperings, "It's Tom Sawyer the Pirate
No one, indeed, could fail to see uncle Jerry; for he shed tears more than once, and in the intervals between the essays descanted to his neighbors concerning the marvelous gifts of one of the graduating class whom he had known ever since she was a child; in fact, had driven her from Maplewood to Riverboro when she left her home, and he had told mother that same night that there wan't nary rung on the ladder o' fame that that child wouldn't mount before she got through with it.