smear campaign


noun

a campaign to tarnish the reputation of a public figure, especially by vilification or innuendo.

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“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Words nearby smear campaign

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.