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widely and unfavorably known; disreputable; infamous: a notorious bank robber
Not to be confused with:
notable – prominent, important, or distinguished; famous; great; eminent: a notable philanthropist
noted – well-known; celebrated: a noted musician
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


Known widely and usually unfavorably: a notorious pirate; a region notorious for floods.

[From Medieval Latin nōtōrius, well-known, from Latin nōtus, known, past participle of nōscere, to get to know; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.]

no·to′ri·ous·ly adv.
no·to′ri·ous·ness n.
Usage Note: Although notorious and notoriety have been used in negative, positive, and neutral contexts since the 1500s, over the years, notorious (and to a lesser extent notoriety) has come to be used primarily in negative contexts, often with a connotation of wickedness or undesirability. In our 2011 survey, 81 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the sentence The region is notorious for its seismic disturbances, whereas only 26 percent accepted a sentence that used notorious in a situation where the circumstances for fame are positive: She is notorious for her excellent standup comedy routines. The Panel is somewhat more willing to accept notoriety in a positive context: almost half (45 percent) approved of the sentence His success on college campuses brought him enough notoriety to release a greatest hits CD.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. well-known for some bad or unfavourable quality, deed, etc; infamous
2. rare generally known or widely acknowledged
[C16: from Medieval Latin notōrius well-known, from nōtus known, from noscere to know]
notoriety, noˈtoriousness n
noˈtoriously adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(noʊˈtɔr i əs, -ˈtoʊr-, nə-)

1. widely and unfavorably known: a notorious thief.
2. publicly or generally known: a notorious scandal.
[1540–50; < Medieval Latin nōtōrius evident = Latin nō(scere) to get to know (see notify) + -tōrius -tory1]
no•to′ri•ous•ly, adv.
no•to′ri•ous•ness, n.
syn: See famous.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'famous'

If someone or something is famous, very many people know about them.

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a famous writer?
...the world's most famous picture.
2. 'well-known'

Well-known has a similar meaning to famous. However, a well-known person or thing is usually known to fewer people or in a smaller area than a famous one.

...a club run by Paul Ross, a well-known Lakeland climber.
...his two well-known books on modern art.

Well-known can be spelled with or without a hyphen. You usually spell it with a hyphen in front of a noun and without a hyphen after a verb.

I took him to a well-known doctor in Harley Street.
The building became very well known.
3. 'notorious'

Someone or something that is notorious is well known for something that is bad or undesirable.

The area was notorious for murders.
...his notorious arrogance.
4. 'infamous'

People and things are described as infamous when they are well known because they are connected with wicked or cruel behaviour.

...the infamous serial killer known as 'the Boston Strangler'.
...the infamous shower scene from Psycho.


See Usage entry at famous.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.notorious - known widely and usually unfavorably; "a notorious gangster"; "the tenderloin district was notorious for vice"; "the infamous Benedict Arnold";
disreputable - lacking respectability in character or behavior or appearance
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


adjective infamous, disreputable, opprobrious one of Britain's most notorious serial killers
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Known widely and unfavorably:
2. Widely known and discussed:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مَشْهور بِسوء السُّمْعَه
nechvalně známý
alræmdur, illræmdur
bloga reputacijanepalankiai
bēdīgi slavens
smutne preslávený
adı çıkmışkötü şöhretli


[nəʊˈtɔːrɪəs] ADJ [criminal] → muy conocido, celebérrimo; [area, town, prison] → de mala fama, de mala reputación; [comment, speech] → desgraciadamente famoso; [case, crime] → muy sonado
a notorious womanizerun hombre con fama de donjuán
she's a notorious flirttiene fama de que le gusta flirtear
Prussia was notorious in this respectPrusia tenía mala fama en este sentido
to be notorious as sthtener fama de ser algo
to be notorious for sthser conocido por algo, tener fama de algo
he's notorious for cheating at cardstiene fama de hacer trampas jugando a las cartas
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[nəʊˈtɔːriəs] adj [case, murder, crime] → célèbre; [murderer, killer] → célèbre; [womaniser] → notoire
to be notorious for sth → être réputé(e) pour qch, être célèbre pour qch
to be notorious for doing sth → être réputé(e) pour faire qch, être connu(e) pour faire qch
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adj person, factberüchtigt; place alsoverrufen, verschrieen; (= well-known) gambler, criminal, liarnotorisch; a notorious womaneine Frau von schlechtem Ruf; to be notorious for/as somethingfür/als etw berüchtigt sein; it is a notorious fact that …es ist leider nur allzu bekannt, dass …
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[nəʊˈtɔːrɪəs] adj (thief, criminal, prison) → famigerato/a; (liar) → ben noto/a; (place, crime) → tristemente famoso/a
a town notorious for its fog → una città tristamente famosa per la nebbia
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(nəˈtoːriəs) adjective
well-known for badness or wickedness. a notorious murderer.
notoriety (noutəˈraiəti) noun
noˈtoriously adverb
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.