April 18, 2012
famous (adjective)
\FAY-mus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : much talked about : very well-known2 : deserving to be remembered : excellent
How do you use it?
Listen my children and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Paul Revere's Ride")
Are you a word wiz?

One of the words below has a meaning that's close to "famous." Figuring out which one might not make you famous, but it could be fun. Which word do you think is a synonym of "famous"?

"Famous" and "renowned" are two of several words that describe somebody or something that's known far and wide. "Famous" suggests being popularly known and sometimes only for a short time (as in, "a famous actor"). "Renowned," on the other hand, stresses glory and honor that might go beyond the limits of time (for example, "heroes renowned in story and song"). Another synonym, "celebrated," stresses frequent public notice and mention especially in print (such as, "a celebrated legal case"), while "notorious" gives the impression that someone is famous for wrongdoing (as in, "a notorious traitor").
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