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Famous vs. Infamous: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on November 12, 2023
Famous refers to being well-known for positive reasons, while infamous means being well-known for negative reasons.

Key Differences

Famous individuals are celebrated for their achievements, talents, or positive contributions, such as renowned artists or scientists. Infamous people, in contrast, are notorious for negative reasons, like criminal actions or unethical behavior. Being famous is generally desirable, signifying success or admiration, whereas being infamous is undesirable, associated with disrepute or condemnation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023
The fame of a person can arise from various positive aspects such as skill, innovation, or humanitarian efforts. Infamy, on the other hand, stems from actions or behaviors that society deems morally reprehensible or harmful. Famous people are often role models, inspiring others, while infamous individuals serve as warnings or examples of what to avoid.
Huma Saeed
Nov 12, 2023
Media coverage of famous people is typically favorable, highlighting their accomplishments or positive qualities. Coverage of infamous people tends to be critical, focusing on their misdeeds or controversial actions. Public perception of a famous individual is generally positive, while that of an infamous person is predominantly negative.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023
The legacy of a famous person is usually enduring and celebrated, preserved in history for their positive impact. The legacy of an infamous person, however, is marked by their negative actions, often remembered with disdain or as cautionary tales. The historical significance of famous individuals is typically associated with progress or achievement, whereas that of infamous individuals is linked to scandal or tragedy.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023
The term 'famous' is often used in a context that implies respect and admiration, while 'infamous' is used in contexts implying shame or notoriety. The distinction is crucial in understanding public figures' societal impact, where fame brings honor and infamy brings disrepute.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Connotation

Positive, admired
Negative, notorious
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Reasons for Recognition

Achievements, talent
Wrongdoings, scandals
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Public Perception

Admired, respected
Disliked, condemned
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Media Coverage

Favorable, celebratory
Critical, negative
Huma Saeed
Nov 12, 2023

Historical Legacy

Celebrated, honored
Disdained, remembered as a warning
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023
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Famous and Infamous Definitions

Famous

Famous means being well-known for positive reasons.
Albert Einstein is famous for his contributions to physics.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Infamous

Infamous means being well-known for negative reasons.
The dictator was infamous for his brutal regime.
Huma Saeed
Nov 12, 2023

Famous

Being renowned or celebrated in a particular field.
She became famous as an actress for her remarkable performances.
Janet White
Nov 12, 2023

Infamous

Known widely in a negative context.
The company was infamous for its unethical business practices.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023

Famous

Acknowledged by many for exceptional qualities or deeds.
The scientist is famous for discovering a groundbreaking cure.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Infamous

Remembered for actions that are widely condemned.
The scandal made the politician infamous nationwide.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 12, 2023

Famous

It signifies widespread recognition and admiration.
The famous author received numerous awards for her novels.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Infamous

Notorious for harmful or immoral actions.
The infamous criminal was finally captured by the police.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Famous

Having a reputation that extends beyond local boundaries.
The musician's fame reached international levels.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Infamous

Having an exceedingly bad reputation; notorious
An infamous outlaw.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Famous

Well or widely known.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Causing or deserving severe public condemnation; heinous
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury" (US Constitution, Amendment 5).
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Famous

First-rate; excellent
Had a famous time at the party.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

(Law) Convicted of a crime, such as treason or felony, that carries a severe punishment. No longer in technical use.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Famous

Known.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Having a bad reputation; disreputable; notorious; unpleasant or evil; widely known, especially for something scornful.
He was an infamous traitor.
She is infamous for perjury.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Famous

In the public eye.
Some people are only famous within their city.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Causing infamy; disgraceful.
This infamous deed tarnishes all involved.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Famous

To make famous; to bring renown to.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Subject to a judicial punishment that deprived the infamous person of certain rights; this included a prohibition against holding public office, exercising the franchise, receiving a public pension, serving on a jury, or giving testimony in a court of law.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Famous

Celebrated in fame or public report; renowned; mach talked of; distinguished in story; - used in either a good or a bad sense, chiefly the former; often followed by for; as, famous for erudition, for eloquence, for military skill; a famous pirate.
Famous for a scolding tongue.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Of very bad report; having a reputation of the worst kind; held in abhorrence; guilty of something that exposes to infamy; base; notoriously vile; detestable; as, an infamous traitor; an infamous perjurer.
False errant knight, infamous, and forsworn.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Famous

Widely known and esteemed;
A famous actor
A celebrated musician
A famed scientist
An illustrious judge
A notable historian
A renowned painter
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Causing or producing infamy; deserving detestation; scandalous to the last degree; as, an infamous act; infamous vices; infamous corruption.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Branded with infamy by conviction of a crime; as, at common law, an infamous person can not be a witness.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Having a bad name as being the place where an odious crime was committed, or as being associated with something detestable; hence, unlucky; perilous; dangerous.
Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds.
The piny shadeMore infamous by cursed Lycaon made.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Having an exceedingly bad reputation;
A notorious gangster
The tenderloin district was notorious for vice
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 03, 2023

Infamous

Having a bad reputation or notorious history.
The spy became infamous for betraying his country.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 12, 2023

FAQs

Can someone be both famous and infamous?

Yes, a person can be known for both positive and negative reasons.
Huma Saeed
Nov 12, 2023

What are common paths to fame?

Excellence in arts, sports, science, and humanitarian work often leads to fame.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Do famous people always have a global presence?

While many do, some are famous within specific regions or communities.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023

Is infamous always related to criminality?

Not always, but it often involves actions against societal norms or ethics.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Can fame be temporary?

Yes, fame can be fleeting, depending on the reasons for recognition.
Janet White
Nov 12, 2023

How does media portray famous individuals?

Media typically portrays famous individuals in a positive, celebratory light.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 12, 2023

What does it mean to be famous?

Being famous means being well-known for positive reasons or achievements.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

What kind of legacy does an infamous person leave?

An infamous person often leaves a legacy of notoriety and negative impact.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023

Can infamy be overturned?

In some cases, through actions that redeem or change public perception.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023

How does infamy affect public perception?

Infamy generally leads to public disdain or condemnation.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023

What makes someone instantly infamous?

Scandals, crimes, or significantly negative actions can lead to instant infamy.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023

Do infamous actions always involve law-breaking?

Not necessarily; actions can be morally or ethically controversial without being illegal.
Janet White
Nov 12, 2023

Can fame be controlled or managed?

To some extent, through public relations and media management.
Janet White
Nov 12, 2023

Can an infamous act be forgotten over time?

Over time, the impact may diminish, but significant actions are often long-remembered.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Is infamy always deserved?

Not always, as it can be the result of misinterpretation or misinformation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

How does fame impact personal life?

Fame can bring both opportunities and challenges, including loss of privacy.
Harlon Moss
Nov 12, 2023

Does fame guarantee financial success?

Not necessarily, though it often opens doors to various opportunities.
Janet White
Nov 12, 2023

Are infamous people always remembered?

They are often remembered, particularly for their negative impact or actions.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

How do social media influence fame?

Social media can rapidly amplify an individual's fame on a global scale.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 12, 2023

Can fame be achieved posthumously?

Yes, many individuals become famous after their death for their contributions.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 12, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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