1. Having an exceedingly bad reputation; notorious: an infamous outlaw.
2. 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).
3. Law Convicted of a crime, such as treason or felony, that carries a severe punishment. No longer in technical use.
[Middle English infamis, from Latin īnfāmis : in-, not; see IN-1 + fāma, renown, fame; see bhā-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.