Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A famous person.
  • n. Renown; fame.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Celebration; solemnization.
  • n. The state or condition of being celebrated; fame; renown.
  • n. A person of distinction or renown; -- usually in the plural.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The condition of being celebrated; fame; renown; distinction: as, the celebrity of George Washington; the celebrity of Homer or of the Iliad.
  • n. A celebrated person or (very rarely) thing: as, a celebrity at the bar or in the church; what are the celebrities of this town?
  • n. Celebration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a widely known person
  • n. the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed

Etymologies

Middle English celebrite, fame, from Old French, from Latin celebritās, from celeber, celebr-, famous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French célébrité. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term "celebrity memoir" has gotten such a bad name now, but there used to be a little bit of an art form to it.

    USATODAY.com News

  • No one will care if a certain celebrity is pregnant or if someone is doing drugs.

    Thoughts: The Death of Actors and Models

  • Now, even in the best of times Celebrity Jeopardy is pushing it with the use of the term celebrity, but I must admit to an impure thrill at the thought of Ari Fleischer's return to television.

    angelwonks

  • COOPER: Suzanne, you mentioned the term celebrity for Bo Derek and the bachelors.

    CNN Transcript Apr 27, 2003

  • Despite sharing their name with the term celebrity journalists apply to anyone who's ever been in television or film, the band Stars has carved out a large following.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Despite sharing their name with the term celebrity journalists apply to anyone who's ever been in television or film, the band

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • But every once in a while there comes along someone far more deserving of the title celebrity, who just happens to get started on the Internet.

    PlanetOut

  • I am a big fan when a celebrity is able to poke fun at themselves.

    Top 10 Cameo Roles in Movies » Scene-Stealers

  • But the shy aviator matters to "The Guest List" because his celebrity is a measure of "a Manhattan-centric culture's redirecting its admiration from wastrels like the Astors to the achieving parvenu."

    Reign of the Taste-Makers

  • Though he hesitates to use the word celebrity, Mr. Robertson says that using his profile to raise awareness for a charity is all part of giving back.

    Yankees Use Their Profile to Aid Charities

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