[dih-fam-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
See more synonyms for defamatory on

Origin of defamatory

1585–95; < Medieval Latin diffāmātōrius, equivalent to Latin diffāmā(re) (see defame) + -tōrious -tory1
Related formsnon·de·fam·a·to·ry, adjectiveun·de·fam·a·to·ry, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for defamatory

Contemporary Examples of defamatory

Historical Examples of defamatory

  • And he threatened to have me arrested for defamatory language.

  • There is another point connected with this employment of defamatory epithets.

  • All sorts of defamatory reports were spread abroad about them.

    T. De Witt Talmage

    T. De Witt Talmage

  • The Archbishop of Salzburg bitterly resents "the calumnious and defamatory charges against them."

    The Jesuits, 1534-1921

    Thomas J. Campbell

  • Sir Charles has written a defamatory letter, which has closed every house in this county to his victim.

British Dictionary definitions for defamatory


  1. injurious to someone's name or reputation
Derived Formsdefamatorily, adverb
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 defamatory

1590s, from Middle French diffamatoire, Medieval Latin diffamatorius "tending to defame," from diffamat-, past participle stem of diffamare (see defame).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper