Definition of slander in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈslandər/


1The action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation: he is suing the TV network for slander Compare with libel.
More example sentences
  • No need to set him off on a slander suit.
  • Not long ago, however, the vice president filed a slander suit against some members of the Taiwan media.
  • The slander cases in the years between 1870 and 1890 bear out this assertion.
1.1A false and malicious spoken statement: I’ve had just about all I can stomach of your slanders
More example sentences
  • One simple reason is that giving credence to honest reports can open the door to malicious slanders of every kind.
  • Countries shot back and forth at each other with slanders and false accusations.
  • For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders.
defamation (of character), character assassination, calumny, libel;
scandalmongering, malicious gossip, disparagement, denigration, aspersions, vilification, traducement, obloquy;
lie, slur, smear, false accusation
informal mudslinging, bad-mouthing, smack talk
archaic contumely


[with object]
Make false and damaging statements about (someone): they were accused of slandering the head of state
More example sentences
  • Without libeling or slandering anybody, can you talk about murders like that in isolation from the political situation?
  • Now, if Coleman were the responsible journalist he claims to be, don't you think he would have done a little investigation before slandering us again?
  • I wrote Pejman to tell him I was slandering him, and he wrote back to offer an unsurprisingly able defense against my charges.
defame (someone's character), blacken someone's name, tell lies about, speak ill/evil of, sully someone's reputation, libel, smear, cast aspersions on, spread scandal about, besmirch, tarnish, taint;
malign, traduce, vilify, disparage, denigrate, run down, slur
informal badmouth, dis, trash
formal derogate



Pronunciation: /ˈsland(ə)rər/
Example sentences
  • Every sermon he would rail against backbiters, slanderers, hypocrites, perverts, etc.
  • But you know, my slanderers will always try to find a reason for bashing me.
  • The press treated them badly because they were slanderers whose stories did not check out.


Middle English: from Old French esclandre, alteration of escandle, from late Latin scandalum (see scandal).

  • scandal from Middle English:

    The words scandal and slander (Middle English) are closely related. Both go back to Latin scandalum ‘cause of offence’, from Greek skandalon ‘snare, stumbling block’. Originally scandal was a term restricted to the Christian Church. It referred to behaviour by a religious person that might bring discredit on their beliefs, and then, going back to the idea of a ‘stumbling block’, something that hinders faith. Our modern sense of an event causing general public outrage dates from the late 16th century and is first recorded in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors: ‘I wonder much That you would put me to this shame and trouble, And not without some scandal to your self, With circumstance and oaths, so to deny this chain, which now you wear so openly’. See libel

Words that rhyme with slander

Alexander, commander, demander, Lahnda

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: slan·der

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