notorious : Common Errors in English


“Notorious” means famous in a bad way, as in “Nero was notorious for giving long recitals of his tedious poetry.” Occasionally writers deliberately use it in a positive sense to suggest irony or wit, but this is a very feeble and tired device. Nothing admirable should be called “notorious.”The same goes for “notoriety,” which also indicates a bad reputation.See also “.”

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  • s  known widely and usually unfavorably;
    a notorious gangster
    the tenderloin district was notorious for vice
News & Articles

  • Photos: American gangsters
    James "Whitey" Bulger rose to the top of the notorious Winter Hill gang, prosecutors say, before he went into hiding for more than 16 years after a crooked FBI agent told him in December 1994 he was about to be indicted on federal racketeering charges.
    June 13, 2013 - CNN
  • 'Whitey' Bulger Was Never an FBI Snitch Because He's Irish, Says His Lawyer
    The trial for notorious Boston criminal mastermind James "Whitey" Bulger started Wednesday with his attorneys admitting in opening statements that the gangster made millions of dollars through gambling and drugs and paid off corrupt law enforcement officials, but they argued Bulger was never an informant for the FBI.
    June 12, 2013 - The Atlantic Wire via Yahoo! News
  • A Tour Of The Brain Of An Anti-Crop Biotech Activist
    The Genetic Literacy Project takes you into the mind of the world's most notorious anti-biotech scientist...and it's not a pretty picture.
    June 12, 2013 - Forbes