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From Medieval Latin nōtōrius (widely or fully known), from nōtus (known), perfect passive participle of nōscō (get to know). First attested 1548. Negative sense appeared in the 17th century.



notorious (comparative more notorious, superlative most notorious)

  1. Widely known, especially for something negative; infamous.
    Synonyms: ill-famed, infamous
    Antonym: famous
    • 1920 May 27, F[rancis] Scott Fitzgerald, “The Offshore Pirate”, in Flappers and Philosophers, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, published September 1920, OCLC 623621399, part I, page 6:
      This is the last straw. In your infatuation for this man—a man who is notorious for his excesses, a man your father would not have allowed to so much as mention your name—you have reflected the demi-monde rather than the circles in which you have presumably grown up.
    • 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 156:
      Simon Forman was notorious in his day, and was a many of many reverses.

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