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verb (used with object), as·persed, as·pers·ing.
  1. to attack with false, malicious, and damaging charges or insinuations; slander.
  2. to sprinkle; bespatter.
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Origin of asperse

1480–90; < Latin aspersus besprinkled (past participle of aspergere), equivalent to a- a-5 + -sper- (combining form of spar-, variant of sparg- sparge) + -sus, variant of -tus past participle suffix
Related formsas·pers·er, nounas·per·sive, adjectiveas·per·sive·ly, adverbun·as·persed, adjectiveun·as·per·sive, adjective

Synonyms for asperse

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aspersive

Historical Examples of aspersive

  • Of course the aspersive attitude toward York was that of Mrs. Snograss reflected in Rochambeau.

    The ghosts of their ancestors

    Weymer Jay Mills

British Dictionary definitions for aspersive


verb (tr)
  1. to spread false rumours about; defame
  2. rare to sprinkle, as with water in baptism
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Derived Formsasperser, nounaspersive, adjectiveaspersively, adverb

Word Origin for asperse

C15: from Latin aspersus, from aspergere to sprinkle
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 aspersive



late 15c., "to besprinkle," from Latin aspersus, past participle of aspergere (see aspersion). Meaning "to bespatter someone's character with rumor and false reports" is recorded from 1610s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper