from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A false or damaging accusation or insinuation.
  • noun The act of slandering or libeling; defaming.
  • noun A sprinkling, especially with holy water.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A sprinkling, as of or with water.
  • noun The making of calumnious reports, imputations, or charges; a derogatory assertion or criticism; calumny; censure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A sprinkling, as with water or dust, in a literal sense.
  • noun The spreading of calumniations reports or charges which tarnish reputation, like the bespattering of a body with foul water; calumny.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An attack on somebody's reputation or good name, often in the phrase to cast aspersions upon….
  • noun A sprinkling of holy water.

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

  • noun an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
  • noun a disparaging remark
  • noun the act of sprinkling water in baptism (rare)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin aspersio ("sprinkling").


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  • Strange how a word can simultaneously mean "the act of defaming of slandering" and "a sprinkling with holy water".

    September 7, 2012