Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To damage the reputation, character, or good name of (someone) by slander or libel. synonym: malign.
  • transitive verb Archaic To disgrace.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To slander or calumniate, as by uttering or publishing maliciously something which tends to injure the reputation or interests of; speak evil of; dishonor by false reports.
  • To charge; accuse; especially, to accuse falsely.
  • To degrade; bring into disrepute; make infamous.
  • Synonyms Calumniate, Slander, etc. See asperse.
  • noun Infamy; disgrace.

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

  • noun obsolete Dishonor.
  • transitive verb To harm or destroy the good fame or reputation of; to disgrace; especially, to speak evil of maliciously; to dishonor by slanderous reports; to calumniate; to asperse.
  • transitive verb To render infamous; to bring into disrepute.
  • transitive verb rare To charge; to accuse.

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

  • verb to try to diminish the reputation of.
  • verb to publish a libel about.

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

  • verb charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

Etymologies

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

[Middle English defamen, from Old French defamer, from Medieval Latin dēfāmāre, alteration of Latin diffāmāre, to spread news of, slander : dis-, abroad, apart; see dis– + fāma, rumor, reputation; see bhā- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

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