[dih-fam-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]


containing defamation; injurious to reputation; slanderous or libelous: She claimed that the article in the magazine was defamatory.

Nearby words

  1. defacement,
  2. defaecate,
  3. defalcate,
  4. defalcation,
  5. defamation,
  6. defame,
  7. defamiliarization,
  8. defang,
  9. default,
  10. defaulter

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for defamatory

British Dictionary definitions for defamatory



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