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[slan-der] /ˈslæn dər/
defamation; calumny:
rumors full of slander.
a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report:
a slander against his good name.
Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.
verb (used with object)
to utter slander against; defame.
verb (used without object)
to utter or circulate slander.
Origin of slander
1250-1300; (noun) Middle English s(c)laundre < Anglo-French esclaundre, Old French esclandre, alteration of escandle < Late Latin scandalum cause of offense, snare (see scandal); (v.) Middle English s(c)laundren to cause to lapse morally, bring to disgrace, discredit, defame < Old French esclandrer, derivative of esclandre
Related forms
slanderer, noun
slanderingly, adverb
slanderous, adjective
slanderously, adverb
slanderousness, noun
nonslanderous, adjective
outslander, verb (used with object)
quasi-slanderous, adjective
quasi-slanderously, adverb
reslander, verb (used with object)
unslandered, adjective
unslanderous, adjective
unslanderously, adverb
unslanderousness, noun
Can be confused
defamation, liable, libel, slander (see usage note at liable)
defame, libel, slander.
libel, slander.
4. malign, vilify, revile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for slanderer
Historical Examples
  • Thanks to you, this enemy of civil society, this slanderer of women, is down.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • That she who set285 out to destroy her slanderer should become his slave!

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • If the slanderer will stand forth and avow himself, I may know how to deal with him.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • Burnet was a 'gossiper, slanderer, and notorious falsifier of facts.'

  • The groomsmen are denouncing him, as he deserves to be, as a slanderer and recreant.

    Marion's Faith. Charles King
  • A thief, debtor, slanderer, or defamer may become the slave of the one he has wronged.


    William Graham Sumner
  • If it were not true, he said, the slanderer should be dismissed from the Cabinet.

    Abraham Lincoln William Eleroy Curtis
  • This did she, and for this I spared not only her life, but the life of her slanderer, Pastor Rad.

    The Mercenary W. J. Eccott
  • The Devildiabolos the slanderer and the sunderer, the principle of divisionreigns.

    The Drama of Love and Death Edward Carpenter
  • And yet am I not a falsifier and a slanderer of the deepest dye?

    A Defence of Virginia Robert L. Dabney
British Dictionary definitions for slanderer


  1. defamation in some transient form, as by spoken words, gestures, etc
  2. a slanderous statement, etc
any false or defamatory words spoken about a person; calumny
to utter or circulate slander (about)
Derived Forms
slanderer, noun
slanderous, adjective
slanderously, adverb
slanderousness, noun
Word Origin
C13: via Anglo-French from Old French escandle, from Late Latin scandalum a cause of offence; see scandal
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
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Word Origin and History for slanderer



late 13c., "state of impaired reputation, disgrace or dishonor;" c.1300, "a false tale; the fabrication and dissemination of false tales," from Anglo-French esclaundre, Old French esclandre "scandalous statement," alteration ("with interloping l" [Century Dictionary]) of escandle, escandre "scandal," from Latin scandalum "cause of offense, stumbling block, temptation" (see scandal). From late 14c. as "bad situation, evil action; a person causing such a state of affairs."



c.1300, from Anglo-French esclaundrer, Old French esclandrer, from esclandre (see slander (n.)). Related: Slandered; slandering; slanderer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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