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  1. defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
  2. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
  3. Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to utter slander against; defame.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to utter or circulate slander.
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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 formsslan·der·er, nounslan·der·ing·ly, adverbslan·der·ous, adjectiveslan·der·ous·ly, adverbslan·der·ous·ness, nounnon·slan·der·ous, adjectiveout·slan·der, verb (used with object)qua·si-slan·der·ous, adjectivequa·si-slan·der·ous·ly, adverbre·slan·der, verb (used with object)un·slan·dered, adjectiveun·slan·der·ous, adjectiveun·slan·der·ous·ly, adverbun·slan·der·ous·ness, noun
Can be confuseddefamation liable libel slander (see usage note at liable)defame libel slanderlibel slander

Synonyms for slander

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

Related Words for slander

defamation, smear, misrepresentation, disparagement, libel, sully, defile, disparage, scandalize, tarnish, belittle, denigrate, malign, defame, vilify, besmirch, obloquy, lie, hit, aspersion

Examples from the Web for slander

Contemporary Examples of slander

Historical Examples of slander

British Dictionary definitions for slander


  1. law
    1. defamation in some transient form, as by spoken words, gestures, etc
    2. a slanderous statement, etc
  2. any false or defamatory words spoken about a person; calumny
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  1. to utter or circulate slander (about)
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Derived Formsslanderer, nounslanderous, adjectiveslanderously, adverbslanderousness, noun

Word Origin for slander

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

Word Origin and History for slander


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."

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper