Definitions

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

  • n. The quality of being widely honored and acclaimed; fame.
  • n. Obsolete Report; rumor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Fame; celebrity; wide recognition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being much known and talked of; exalted reputation derived from the extensive praise of great achievements or accomplishments; fame; celebrity; -- always in a good sense.
  • n. Report of nobleness or exploits; praise.
  • transitive v. To make famous; to give renown to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make famous.
  • To behave or pose as a renowner; swagger; boast: with indefinite it.
  • n. The state of having a great or exalted name; fame; celebrity; exalted reputation derived from the widely spread praise of great achievements or accomplishments.
  • n. Report; rumor; éclat.
  • n. A token of fame or reputation; an honor; a dignity.
  • n. Haughtiness.
  • n. Synonyms Fame, Honor, etc. (see glory, n.), repute, note, distinction, name.

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English renoun, from Anglo-Norman, from renomer, to make famous : re-, repeatedly (from Latin; see re-) + nomer, to name (from Latin nōmināre, from nōmen, nōmin-, name; see nŏ̄-men- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French renon, from re- + non ("name") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Connected with this department was the College of Sages -- a college especially favoured by such of the Ana as were widowed and childless, and by the young unmarried females, amongst whom Zee was the most active, and, if what we call renown or distinction was a thing acknowledged by this people (which I shall later show it is not), among the more renowned or distinguished.

    The Coming Race

  • One GOP victor likely to gain quick renown is Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is positioning himself as the tea party movement's standard-bearer on Capitol Hill.

    Republicans make gains in Senate, but Democrats hold on to slim majority

  • I believe ... yes, I'm almost certain that it was a British poet of some renown from the latter 20th century who famously and through wasp-stung lips howled “You Can't Always Get Whatcha 'Want”.

    Sacked!

  • Except of course, our Armed Forces are held in renown the world over.

    Five Go Camping In Hampshire « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • While Victor Manuel, a young composer of growing renown, is the only Medeles brother to have pursued music as a profession, his siblings Jesus, a veterinarian, Angel, a dentist, and other members of this large clan have learned to play a wide array of instruments for pleasure and profit.

    Huellas ...de Santa Cecilia

  • The difference, however, is that Seneca and Epicurus published their letters so that their friends might live on in renown, not the letter writers.

    Montaigne: All Substance, No Style « So Many Books

  • There are many people who I talk to who went to much smaller schools, schools that don't have the name renown who sounded to me like they got just as good an education or better.

    CNN Transcript Apr 11, 2002

  • He found him at Bethel and talked with him there—the Lord God Almighty, the Lord is his name of renown!

    A Study of Angels

  • I am honoured to present at this traditional party of the Empire Club of Canada a new Canadian singing star of whom international recognition and renown is confidently predicted.

    Christmas Meeting

  • Lost in the prime of youth, in the opening of thy renown, is it thus that all which is good is to be martyrized by the enemies of Scotland?

    The Scottish Chiefs

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Comments

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  • renown - I like the etymology of this word. It also fits with the modern reality of fame - the more a person's name is mentioned the more renown they have and the more renowned they are (though renowned has a different etymology, more based on the German ''known'' apparently)

    July 25, 2013

  • Despite huge numbers of hits for the spelling *reknown, this is unrelated to 'know'. It is however related to 'name', its root being Latin nomin-.

    March 17, 2009