Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make vicious and defamatory statements about. See Synonyms at malign.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To say defamatory things about someone or something.
  • v. To belittle through speech; to put down.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make vile; to debase; to degrade; to disgrace.
  • transitive v. To degrade or debase by report; to defame; to traduce; to calumniate.
  • transitive v. To treat as vile; to despise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make vile; debase; degrade.
  • To attempt to degrade by slander; defame; traduce; calumniate.
  • To treat as worthless, vile, or of no account.
  • Synonyms Asperse, Defame, Calumniate, etc. (see asperse), revile, abuse.
  • To utter slander; be guilty of defamation.

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

  • v. spread negative information about

Etymologies

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

Middle English vilifien, from Late Latin vīlificāre, to hold cheap : Latin vīlis, cheap; + Latin -ficāre, -fy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin vīlificāre, present active infinitive of vīlificō ("villify"),

Examples

  • *Shirley Payne, assistant vice president for information security, policy and records, removed unconstitutional language from a policy prohibiting Internet messages that "vilify" others and mailing list messages that are "inappropriate."

    University of Virginia reforms speech code

  • Ellison responded by airing his broad concern over radicalization, before arguing that King's choice to aggressively target only Muslims would "vilify" the community.

    Keith Ellison To Peter King: Muslim 'Radicalization' Probe Will 'Vilify' Community (VIDEO)

  • However, hardly anyone has seriously attempted to "vilify" them since the fact of the matter is simple: one lost and the other is losing.

    Obama Meets With John Edwards

  • Obama Is In So sharp was his critique of insurers that one attendee who identified himself as an industry executive asked him why he chose to "vilify" a business that has contributed ideas to the debate.

    As Obama Goes on the Attack, a Blue Dog Takes Some Heat

  • If Steyn uses those true facts to "vilify" someone -- say, radical Muslim terrrorists -- he's still guilty of a human rights crime.

    Ezra Levant: June 2008 Archives

  • I'm somewhat confused -- you seem to be saying that speaking out on behalf of the oppressed doesn't justify hate speech, yet you won't "vilify" Dworkin is it "vilification" to describe her as the hate-speech purveyor she was? because she spoke out for the oppressed.

    Andrea Dworkin has died.

  • And I add, had you joined herewith, such as vilify and trample upon the blood of the Lord Jesus, preferring the snivel of their own brains before him, you had herein but drawn your own picture, and given your reader an emblem of yourself.

    Works of John Bunyan — Volume 02

  • A spokesman for Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend has lashed out at the actor's legal team - accusing his lawyers of creating false rumours about the Russian singer in order to "vilify" her during the pair's custody battle.

    Ottawa Sun

  • A spokesman for Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend has lashed out at the actor's legal team, accusing his lawyers of creating false rumors about the Russian singer in order to "vilify" her during the pair's custody battle.

    News Channel 9: Local News

  • Brown's lawyers appear in an LA court today to contest his charges, on the grounds that a photo of Rihanna's bruised face was leaked to "vilify" him.

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Comments

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  • verb: spread negative information about

    Todd was noble after the divorce, choosing to say only complimentary things about Barbara, but Barbara did not hesitate to vilify Todd.

    October 19, 2016

  • "Halliburton has been doing work in war zones since the early 1960s, when it acquired the construction company Brown & Root and was tasked by the Pentagon with building the infrastructure for the Vietnam War. Back in those days, it was vilified as 'Burn & Loot'."

    - Pratap Chatterjee, Is Halliburton Forgiven and Forgotten?, tomdispatch.com, 31 May 2009.

    June 1, 2009