I'm looking for a word that I could use so that the following mean basically the same:

  • I want to know how well-known this actor is abroad.
  • I want to know the ??? of this actor in other countries.

The following is related, but the familiarity of this actor does not sound right to me, and the popularity of this actor sounds like that it assumes the actor is known and is talking about how popular. Or am I wrong and either of them fits above?

  • 1
    Why do you want this noun? Your first sentence is much better style than your second, whatever word you put in there. Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 16:36

15 Answers 15


Summary: I think notability is the best choice, but I think it is worth exploring why.

In my experience (US English), such words generally have varying connotations that might impact your usage.

The following suggestions from other answers imply the subject is known in a positive context:

  • renown
  • popularity
  • stature
  • prominence
  • fame
  • Q-score
  • celebrity status

The plain text words have more to do with public appeal, whereas the bolded words imply a finer quality: perhaps holding an important title, having earned a prestigious award, or having established themselves as a giant in their field.

Conversely, these words imply that the subject is known in a negative context:

  • notoriety
  • infamy

That leaves these suggestions:

  • well-knownness
  • reputation
  • recognisability
  • notability
  • awareness
  • recognition
  • knownness
  • visibility

"Well-knownness" and "knownness" feel very informal, like the speaker is intentionally making up a new word.

"Reputation" concerns not merely whether a person is known, but what they are known for. Are they renowned/famous or notorious/infamous? If you just want to know how well-known a person is without the qualitative judgment, this isn't the best choice.

"Awareness" and "recognition" are awkward in this sentence structure.

I want to know the [awareness/recognition] of this actor in other countries.

Here it seems to be talking about what the actor is aware of/recognizes, as opposed to how much others are aware of/recognize the actor. "Recognition" is closer than "awareness", and would probably be understood, but is not the best fit.

"Visibility" technically concerns discoverability. One can be highly visible but not yet well known.

The best fits are "recognisability" and "notability". To my ear, these address strictly how much someone is known, without any positive or negative connotation. "Recognisability" is a bit unwieldy, so I would give preference to "notability".

Notably, this is the word that Wikipedia uses to describe the quality of a topic that is worthy of an article.

  • 1
    Thanks for the summary. Notability (or just well-knownness after all) seems the closest. To me, non-native speaker, recognizability sounds like the extent to which people can see it. Is it ever used in the sense of name-recognizability?
    – sundowner
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 1:33
  • I don't think "fame" necessarily belongs in the positive category. Indeed, googling for a definition of "famous" comes up with "known about by many people", which seems to be exactly what OP wants. I prefer "fame" to "notability", since the latter can refer to whether the person ought to be well known as well as whether they actually are. Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 10:13
  • But still a great answer with pros and cons for many options, +1. Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 10:14
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    @EspeciallyLime Again, this is based on my own personal experience with the connotations. Connotations vary a lot regionally. Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 14:59
  • 2
    "Notoriety" can also be used in jest in a way that "infamy" can't, and the latter can be used in solemnity where the former cannot. For instance, "the notorious RBG" and the "date which will live in infamy." Swapping these to "the infamous RBG" and the "date which will live in notoriety" significantly changes the tone of each. Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 19:28

Renown can also mean 'level of well-knownness'.

renown [noun]

1: a state of being widely acclaimed and highly honored [fame]

  • As Nesbit’s wealth and literary celebrity grew, so did the Blands’ renown as hosts. — [Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2022]


  • Second best answer in letter but possibly best answer in spirit!
    – BCLC
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 13:02
  • 4
    I think the problem with "renown" is the same as "popularity". You wouldn't say Adolf Hitler is a popular or renowned historical figure. "Infamous" would fit there but I think the OP is looking for a more neutral term for "how well known are they, regardless of whether they are liked or disliked". McDonalds is ______ throughout the world.
    – JamieB
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 14:17

"Reputation" as mentioned by @ seven is a good fit. Other options are

Recognisability (Wiktionary) The quality of being recognisable.

Stature (Wiktionary) Respect coming from achievement or development.

Notability (Wiktionary) The quality or state of being notable or eminent

  • 1
    I was looking for "notability" and missed it at the end of your answer the first time. That's the word I find most idiomatic here (US English). Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 20:46
  • More copypasta? Please say why you think each of these answers the question. We are not a link farm or a quiz size. We expect each answer to be in your own words.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 23:27

Popularity works as it can mean "popularity level" within a context, just like your example. It is because you are not stating the popularity of someone/something, you want to know the popularity of someone/something.

I want to know the popularity of this actor in other countries.

Here is a different example in a technical context:

You can see statistics for the whole world, as well as to know the popularity of the query at the country or city level. - netpeak.net

Other than that, well-knownness is a word already and it is listed in OED with the earliest citation from 1917. The citation from The Los Angeles Times, from 1950, provided by OED is a relevant usage:

Sheer ability isn't going to be the only facet. We're going to consider durability, too,..also well-knownness.

  • 1
    I'm not sure what exactly the OED citation is talking about. Does it mean 'we' consider how durable and how well-known it/s/he is, besides ability?
    – sundowner
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 8:08
  • 1
    @sundowner Yes, you got it right.
    – ermanen
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 8:10
  • 1
    +1 upvote. I missed the word "popularity". I knew I was missing something. The word is a good fit to be used with actors.
    – banuyayi
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 17:02
  • Not sure popularity really fits. A person can be very well known but not very popular and popularity can differ among different groups of people.
    – phuzi
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 8:20


This might work if you meant how "the actor" is viewed "in other countries". But this only works for the actor's quality, not the quantity of his being well-known.

 - I want to know the reputation of this actor in other countries.


A possible noun can be prominence perhaps.

  • I want to know the prominence of this actor in other countries.

The state of being easily seen or well known


The state of being prominent: widely known or eminent.


What about fame?

It would be more common to say the actor's fame rather than the fame of the actor, but it's not wrong. Britannica has

noun the condition of being known or recognized by many people


Especially in politics, but also marketing, name recognition.

the extent to which the name of a politician, company, brand, etc. is familiar to the public He already has strong name recognition with voters around Iowa.


Another option: visibility

“One article creates visibility, which in turn puts you in front of other journalists, creating the possibility of more articles and visibility.”

― Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time


This is a little 'inside baseball', but a fairly common measure of this in the entertainment industry is the Q-Score. As the Wiki article says, it's

a measurement of the familiarity and appeal of a brand, celebrity, company, or entertainment product

It's a US thing, though, so I'm not sure it best fills in the blank in your example.


Besides the answers already mentioned, awareness or recognition could work.

  • 1
    Awareness would seem to imply more how much they are aware of other people, rather than how much other people are aware of them.
    – Hearth
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 1:42
  • 1
    Recognition is what came to mind for me.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:47
  • why would you suggest these? And where are your links from? That has to be given in plain text, not hidden behind a link. Please review our Helper Center's guidance on how to reference material written by others.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 23:28

It's not a single word, but how about celebrity status?

Collins Dictionary classes it as a noun and defines it as follows:

the prominence of film star, footballer, musician etc who is constantly photographed and written about in tabloids and magazines
There is a downside to this kind of celebrity status.
He uses his celebrity status to raise money for AIDS research.

Now, I notice that 'prominence' has been suggested by @Serguei. Although it's used in the definition, 'prominence' has a broader meaning than 'celebrity status', so I believe the latter is closer to the meaning OP's seeking.

The dictionary shows more examples including this one:

Despite their global celebrity status, has any of this actually made any real difference?
The Sun (2014)

I want to know the celebrity status of this actor in other countries.

  1. In wiktionary, 'knownness' is a word. I'm not sure about the dash but since 'well' is indeed an adjective, you can say say 'well knownness'.

  2. In the wiktionary entry for 'famous for being famous', there's a citation of a quote "a person who is known for his well-knownness" by Daniel J. Boorstin.


I want to know the ??? of this actor in other countries.

You are trying to put a square peg into a round hold. The construction you suggest is awkward to use in this context.

I suggest:

I want to know how well-known this actor is in other countries.


The noun celebrity is now most commonly used concretely to mean “a well-known person”, but its original abstract meaning, as the state or degree of being well known, remains.

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