Celebrity is the status of being well-known, praised, exalted, or attributed with importance, and it is also used to describe people or things endowed with such status. So someone can have celebrity and also be a celebrity. The provenance of the word is revealing: from the French célébrité, which derives from the Latin celebritas, meaning honored or renowned, the term has strayed into English language dissociated from references to accomplishments or great deeds.

Celebrities do not typically ply their labor so much as their presence, usually in the form of a moving visual image that appears on television or computer screens or a stationary representation on a print advertisement. Either way, the effect is to implicate those looking at or reading about the celebrity in an ...

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