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defame

[dih-feym]
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verb (used with object), de·famed, de·fam·ing.
  1. to attack the good name or reputation of, as by uttering or publishing maliciously or falsely anything injurious; slander or libel; calumniate: The newspaper editorial defamed the politician.
  2. Archaic. to disgrace; bring dishonor upon.
  3. Archaic. to accuse.
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Origin of defame

1275–1325; Middle English defamen (< Anglo-French defamer) < Medieval Latin dēfāmāre, by-form of Medieval Latin, Latin diffāmāre (dē- de- for dif-; compare Latin dēfāmātus infamous) to spread the news of, slander, equivalent to dif- dif- + -fāmāre verbal derivative of fāma news, rumor, slander (see fame); replacing Middle English diffamen (< Anglo-French, Old French diffamer) < Medieval Latin, Latin, as above
Related formsde·fam·er, nounde·fam·ing·ly, adverbun·de·famed, adjectiveun·de·fam·ing, adjective
Can be confuseddefame libel slander

Synonyms

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1. malign, disparage, discredit, vilify, derogate, revile, denigrate, backbite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for defaming

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then you are likely to give up your plan of punishing the man for defaming and degrading you?

  • I saw you lying there in Their temple, defaming it in blasphemy by your sleep.

    Eight Keys to Eden

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • What surprises me was that so little intelligence was exhibited in defaming me.

    Frenzied Finance

    Thomas W. Lawson

  • How must satisfaction be made for slanders, lies, and defaming of others?

  • Why the doctor here heard you cussing out and defaming one of the finest types of Republican congressmen, just this noon!

    Babbitt

    Sinclair Lewis


British Dictionary definitions for defaming

defame

verb (tr)
  1. to attack the good name or reputation of; slander; libel
  2. archaic to indict or accuse
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Derived Formsdefamer, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French defamer, from Latin dēfāmāre, from diffāmāre to spread by unfavourable report, from fāma fame
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 defaming

defame

v.

c.1300, from Old French defamer (13c., Modern French diffamer), from Medieval Latin defamare, from Latin diffamare "to spread abroad by ill report, make a scandal of," from dis- suggestive of ruination + fama "a report, rumor" (see fame (n.)). Related: Defamed; defaming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper