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smear campaign

a campaign to tarnish the reputation of a public figure, especially by vilification or innuendo. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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a strategy to discredit a person, esp. a public figure, through disparaging remarks or false accusations's 21st Century Lexicon
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Idioms and Phrases with smear campaign

smear campaign

An attempt to ruin a reputation by slander or vilification, as in This press agent is well known for starting smear campaigns against her clients' major competitors. This phrase was first recorded in 1938 and uses smear in the sense of “an attempt to discredit” or “slander.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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