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Infamy vs. Notoriety: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Infamy refers to being famous for a negative reason, while notoriety means widely known, often for a bad quality or deed.
Infamy vs. Notoriety

Key Differences

Infamy is associated with a notorious reputation resulting from a shameful or criminal act, while notoriety, although similar, can imply fame gained from negative acts or traits, but is less specifically tied to disgraceful actions. Both terms signify being known widely, but infamy carries a stronger connotation of disgrace.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
The essence of infamy lies in moral condemnation and disgrace, often stemming from despicable conduct, whereas notoriety is more about being known, especially for something sensational or bad, but does not inherently carry the same moral judgment as infamy. Both terms indicate a public awareness, but the nature of that awareness differs significantly.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
Infamy often implies a lasting, negative reputation that overshadows any positive aspects, whereas notoriety can be transient and sometimes even carries a hint of glamour or intrigue. Infamy is almost exclusively negative, whereas notoriety can be ambivalent, depending on the context.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
Infamy is tied closely to historical or infamous events, often evoking a sense of horror or disgust, while notoriety, though also related to unfavorable actions or characteristics, can sometimes be leveraged into a form of controversial fame. Both concepts involve a high level of public awareness, but the underlying reasons and perceptions differ.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
Infamy is often irreversible and stains a person's or event's reputation permanently, whereas notoriety can fluctuate and sometimes be reshaped or overcome. Infamy denotes a legacy of shame, while notoriety, although not necessarily positive, allows more room for nuanced public perception.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Connotation

Primarily negative, associated with shame
Can be negative or neutral, less severe
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Duration

Often long-lasting or permanent
Can be transient or evolving
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Moral Judgment

Strong moral condemnation
Less moral judgment, more about public awareness
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Relationship to Fame

Negative version of fame, always undesirable
Controversial or sensational fame, not always undesirable
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Historical Usage

Associated with historical figures/events with negative legacy
Used more broadly for anyone with widespread recognition, often for sensational reasons
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
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Infamy and Notoriety Definitions

Infamy

A reputation of being infamous.
His name was synonymous with infamy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Notoriety

The state of being famous or well known for some bad quality or deed.
He gained notoriety for his role in the scandal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Infamy

Public disgrace or loss of reputation.
The event went down in history as a moment of infamy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Notoriety

Widespread recognition, often for negative reasons.
Her notoriety escalated after the controversial interview.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Infamy

Very bad reputation; notoriety
Achieved infamy as the central figure in the scandal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
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Notoriety

Being known for some undesirable trait or action.
His notoriety stemmed from his unpredictable behavior.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Infamy

The condition of being infamous; disgrace
A name that will live in infamy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Notoriety

A form of fame or recognition, often linked to sensationalism.
The artist's shocking work brought her notoriety.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Infamy

An evil or criminal act that is publicly known.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Notoriety

Being well-known, often in a negative light.
The criminal's notoriety spread across the country.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Infamy

The state of being infamous.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Notoriety

The quality or condition of being notorious. See Usage Note at notorious.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

The state of having a reputation as being evil.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Notoriety

An infamous or notorious condition or reputation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

A reprehensible occurrence or situation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Notoriety

The quality or condition of being notorious; the state of being generally or publicly known; - commonly used in an unfavorable sense; as, the notoriety of a crime.
They were not subjects in their own nature so exposed to public notoriety.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

(legal) A stigma attaching to a person's character that disqualifies them from being a witness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Notoriety

The state of being known for some unfavorable act or quality
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

Total loss of reputation; public disgrace; dishonor; ignominy; indignity.
The afflicted queen would not yield, and said she would not . . . submit to such infamy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

A quality which exposes to disgrace; extreme baseness or vileness; as, the infamy of an action.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

That loss of character, or public disgrace, which a convict incurs, and by which he is at common law rendered incompetent as a witness.
Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a day which will live in infamy, . . .
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

A state of extreme dishonor;
A date which will live in infamy
The name was a by-word of scorn and opprobrium throughout the city
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

Evil fame or public reputation
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Infamy

A state of being well known for some bad quality or deed.
The dictator's infamy grew with each act of cruelty.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Infamy

Extreme disgrace brought about by shameful conduct.
His betrayal earned him infamy among his peers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Infamy

Notorious, ill fame due to a criminal act.
The scandal plunged her into a life of infamy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is infamy?

Infamy is being famous for a negative reason, often linked to disgrace or shame.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Can infamy be positive?

Infamy is almost exclusively negative and associated with disrepute.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Can "notoriety" be used to describe a person or an event?

"Notoriety" can be used to describe both a person known for negative actions and events known for their widespread negative attention.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

What is notoriety?

Notoriety is widespread recognition, often for something negative or sensational.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Is "notoriety" commonly used in everyday conversation?

"Notoriety" is used less frequently in everyday conversation compared to other words, but it is still recognizable.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Is "notoriety" related to criminal actions only?

Not necessarily. While it often relates to negative actions, notoriety can also result from any widely known, controversial, or memorable event.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

How is "notoriety" pronounced?

It is pronounced as "noh-tuh-rah-tee."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Can someone achieve notoriety intentionally?

Yes, individuals can intentionally seek notoriety through actions intended to gain widespread attention, even if it's for negative reasons.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Is "infamy" commonly used in everyday conversation?

"Infamy" is used less frequently in everyday conversation compared to other words, but it is still recognizable.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Can "infamy" be used to describe a person or an event?

"Infamy" can be used to describe both a person known for negative actions and events known for their disgraceful nature.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

What is the opposite of "notoriety"?

The opposite of "notoriety" would be "obscurity" or "anonymity."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

What is the opposite of "infamy"?

The opposite of "infamy" would be "fame" or "reputation."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Is "infamy" related to criminal actions only?

While "infamy" often relates to criminal behavior, it can also apply to any negative or disgraceful actions that garner attention.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Can someone achieve infamy intentionally?

Yes, individuals can intentionally seek infamy through actions intended to gain negative attention.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

How is "infamy" pronounced?

It is pronounced as "in-fuh-mee."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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