Definition of famous in English:


Line breaks: fam¦ous
Pronunciation: /ˈfeɪməs


1Known about by many people: a famous star the country is famous for its natural beauty
More example sentences
  • Pitcairners are famous for the culture of silence that pervades their small society.
  • The Old Inn at Gairloch is famous for its seafood and game but it is worth holding back to enjoy pudding.
  • The city is a World Heritage Site and is famous for its classical music, beer and marzipan.
well known, celebrated, prominent, famed, popular, having made a name for oneself;
renowned, noted, notable, eminent, pre-eminent, leading, distinguished, esteemed, respected, venerable, august, of high standing, of distinction, of repute;
illustrious, acclaimed, honoured, exalted, great, glorious, remarkable, signal, legendary, lionized, much publicized;
notorious, infamous
2 informal Excellent: Galway stormed to a famous victory
More example sentences
  • As he was to do three years later, White tackled England to a standstill to gain a famous victory.
  • In the end the Bay just didn't have enough juice in the tank to claim a famous victory.
  • Kuerten reaches match point and records a famous victory in just over two hours.


late Middle English: from Old French fameus, from Latin famosus 'famed', from fama (see fame).


famous for being famous

Having no recognizable reason for one’s fame other than high media exposure: television reporters are now often more famous for being famous than for their work
More example sentences
  • These are people who are famous for being famous, ciphers for our fantasies, cartoon characters with extravagant lives.
  • Both women are certainly easy on the eye, but both are merely famous for being famous and that is about the sum of their achievements.
  • In this age of Z-list celebrities who are famous for being famous, it's so refreshing to meet a real star.

famous for fifteen minutes

famous last words

Said as an ironic comment on an overconfident assertion that may later be proved wrong: ‘I’ll be perfectly OK on my own.’ ‘Famous last words,’ she thought to herself
More example sentences
  • Perhaps the most famous last words in military history were uttered by an American Civil War officer, John Sedgwick: They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.
  • So for now I'm off to make my final preparations in the hope that all runs smoothly… famous last words!
  • This time we have ‘no return to boom and bust’, a mantra which could turn out to be Gordon Brown's famous last words.



More example sentences
  • They may be right to feel hunted by the press, but feeling hunted by the press is an aspect of self-hunting too: their famousness is an occasion for grief, and their grief is a constituent part of their fame.
  • I'm talking former Cabinet ministers or old British television personality level of famousness.
  • But John Safran is funnier and Jewish yet enjoys nowhere near the same hemisphere of famousness.

Definition of famous in: