- An example of notorious is a person known for her alcoholic tendencies.
- An example of notorious is a person known for their excellent cake decorating abilities.
- well-known; publicly discussed
- widely but unfavorably known or talked about
Origin of notoriousMedieval Latin notorius from Late Latin notoria, news, information from notus: see note
Origin of notoriousFrom Medieval Latin nōtōrius well-known from Latin nōtus known past participle of nōscere to get to know ; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.
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.
(comparative more notorious, superlative most notorious)
First attested 1548, from Medieval Latin nÅtÅrius (“widely or fully known"), from Latin nÅtus (“known"), perfect passive participle of nÅscÅ (“get to know"). Negative sense appeared in seventeenth century.