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calumny

[kal-uh m-nee]
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noun, plural cal·um·nies.
  1. a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something: The speech was considered a calumny of the administration.
  2. the act of uttering calumnies; slander; defamation.

Origin of calumny

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin calumnia, equivalent to calumn-, perhaps originally a middle participle of calvī to deceive + -ia -y3)

Synonyms

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2. libel, vilification, calumniation, derogation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for calumny

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • If ever Calumny aims the poisoned shaft at them, may friendship be by to ward the blow!

  • It is there one lives exempt from the assaults of censure, detraction, and calumny.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • Calumny is a little wind, but it raises such a terrible tempest.

  • Some they bought—some they ruined—some they intimidated—some they destroyed by calumny.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • Slander and calumny can go abroad without a dread of consequences.


British Dictionary definitions for calumny

calumny

noun plural -nies
  1. the malicious utterance of false charges or misrepresentation; slander; defamation
  2. such a false charge or misrepresentation

Word Origin

C15: from Latin calumnia deception, slander
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for calumny

n.

"False & malicious misrepresentation of the words or actions of others, calculated to injure their reputation" [Fowler], mid-15c., from Middle French calomnie (15c.), from Latin calumnia "trickery, subterfuge, misrepresentation, malicious charge," from calvi "to trick, deceive," from PIE root *kel- "to deceive, confuse" (cf. Greek kelein "to bewitch, seduce, beguile," Gothic holon "to deceive," Old Norse hol "praise, flattery," Old English hol "slander," holian "to slander").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper