Definitions

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

  • n. The act of defaming; calumny.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Act of injuring another's reputation by any slanderous communication, written or oral; the wrong of maliciously injuring the good name of another; slander; detraction; calumny; aspersion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Act of injuring another's reputation by any slanderous communication, written or oral; the wrong of maliciously injuring the good name of another; slander; detraction; calumny; aspersion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of defaming; the wrong of injuring another's reputation without good reason or justification; aspersion.
  • n. [Formerly defamation was used more with reference to slander or spoken words. In modern use slander is spoken defamation and libel is published defamation. Both are subjects for civil action for damages. Libel alone is usually punishable criminally, the common test of criminality being that it tends to a breach of the peace.] Synonyms Detraction, aspersion, backbiting, scandal, libel.

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

  • n. an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
  • n. a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The term defamation is often used to encompass both libel and slander.

    THE NEWS BLOG

  • His indignant countrymen actually caused him to be prosecuted in the native courts, on a charge nearly equivalent to what we term defamation of character; but the old fellow persisting in his assertion, and no invalidating proof being adduced, the plantiffs were cast in the suit, and the cannibal

    Narrative of a four months' residence among the natives of a valley of the Marquesas Islands, or, A peep at Polynesian life

  • His indignant countrymen actually caused him to be prosecuted in the native courts, on a charge nearly equivalent to what we term defamation of character; but the old fellow persisting in his assertion, and no invalidating proof being adduced, the plaintiffs were cast in the suit, and the cannibal reputation of the defendant firmly established.

    Typee; a real romance of the South Seas

  • Every republication of a defamation is a new publication and gives rise to a separate cause of action.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • In 2009, 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' alum Danielle Staub was sued by ex-husband Kevin Maher for what he called defamation of character.

    Danielle Staub Sued Again By Ex

  • African National Congress deputy-secretary Cheryl Carolus also warned the ANC would consult lawyers and possibly take legal action for what she called defamation if Khoza failed to disclose his sources by 6pm on Wednesday.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Galliano also said that he has begun legal proceedings to pursue what he called "defamation and the threats made against me."

    NPR Topics: News

  • More than four years and a global economic collapse later, Siegel has filed a $75,000 lawsuit against the filmmakers and the Sundance Film Festival, where the documentary premieres on January 19, for what he calls defamation of character.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • Muslim nations are attempting to outlaw what they call the defamation of their religion.

    Muti

  • I am an Independent and in no way support Ms. Palin's political ambitions, but I must say that unfounded media defamation is terrible and not to be tolerated by thoughtful human beings of any persuasion.

    Palin attorney warns media over 'defamatory' charges

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