Definition of defame in English:

defame

Syllabification: de·fame
Pronunciation: /diˈfām
 
/

verb

[with object]
  • Damage the good reputation of (someone); slander or libel: he claimed that the article defamed his family
    More example sentences
    • A legal expert here yesterday said that people who were e-mailing details of the allegations to friends and colleagues were engaging in libel, by defaming the players.
    • As far as I am concerned, with the weight of a 40-year journalistic and editing career behind me, this statement libels and defames me, and could form the basis of a suit at law.
    • I must respectfully insist that you either substantiate these claims - which you cannot do because they are false - or publicly apologize for attempting to defame my character and damage my reputation.
    Synonyms
    libel, slander, malign, cast aspersions on, smear, traduce, give someone a bad name, run down, speak ill of, vilify, besmirch, stigmatize, disparage, denigrate, discredit, decry
    informal do a hatchet job on, drag through the mud, slur, badmouth, dis, talk smack
    formal calumniate

Derivatives

defamer

noun
More example sentences
  • If this be proved, then even positive belief in the truth of what is published will not enable the defamer to avail himself of the protection of the privilege to which he would otherwise have been entitled.
  • Putting it another way, in such circumstances the defamer cannot be said to be ‘telling deliberate and injurious falsehoods’.
  • The defamer might be willing to publish an apology; but to do so would be an act of grace on his part.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French diffamer, from Latin diffamare 'spread evil report', from dis- (expressing removal) + fama 'report'.

More definitions of defame

Definition of defame in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody