1. having an extremely bad reputation: an infamous city.
  2. deserving of or causing an evil reputation; shamefully malign; detestable: an infamous deed.
  3. Law.
    1. deprived of certain rights as a citizen, as a consequence of conviction of certain offenses.
    2. of or relating to offenses involving such deprivation.


  1. having a bad reputation; notorious
  2. causing or deserving a bad reputation; shockinginfamous conduct
  3. criminal law (formerly)
    1. (of a person) deprived of certain rights of citizenship on conviction of certain offences
    2. (of a crime or punishment) entailing such deprivation

late 14c., from Medieval Latin infamosus, from Latin in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + famosus “celebrated” (see famous). Meaning influenced by Latin infamis “of ill fame” (see infamy). As a legal term, “disqualified from certain rights of citizens in consequence of conviction of certain crimes” (late 14c.). Related: Infamously.

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