Fame vs defame

  • Fame and defame are two words that are sometimes confused, as they are not exact antonyms but they are related. We will examine the definitions of the words fame and defame, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


    Fame is a state in which one is known by many, having the stature of celebrity. Fame carries the connotation of people or things that are well known for something positive. The noun fame comes from the Latin word fama, which means public opinion, reputation, repute. Fame is a mass noun, which is a noun that can not be counted and has no plural form.

    Defame means to destroy or damage someone’s good reputation, to libel or slander someone with false information or lies. Defame is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are defames, defamed, defaming, defamer, defamation, defamatory. The word defame is derived from the Latin word diffamare, which means to incite a scandal or to spread nasty rumors.

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