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aspersion

[uh-spur-zhuh n, -shuh n] /əˈspɜr ʒən, -ʃən/
noun
1.
a damaging or derogatory remark or criticism; slander:
casting aspersions on a campaign rival.
2.
the act of slandering; vilification; defamation; calumniation; derogation:
Such vehement aspersions cannot be ignored.
3.
the act of sprinkling, as in baptism.
4.
Archaic. a shower or spray.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; (< Middle French) < Latin aspersiōn- (stem of aspersiō) a sprinkling. See asperse, -ion
Related forms
nonaspersion, noun
Synonyms
1. censure, reproach.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for aspersions
  • But please check your own racism before you cast aspersions.
  • Casting aspersions is one thing but it's really not much if there's no alternate scenario that fits the available evidence.
  • And casting aspersions makes you seem petty and small while making your target more sympathetic.
  • He was calling for reinforcements, not casting aspersions.
  • There is no reason for the majority here to cast aspersions on the appellate court's motivations.
  • The court does not desire to cast aspersions on the lawyers in this case.
  • So, if someone really casts aspersions on it, we're more than happy to sit down with them.
  • They did have the right, however, to cast aspersions on the plaintiffs' explanation.
British Dictionary definitions for aspersions

aspersion

/əˈspɜːʃən/
noun
1.
a disparaging or malicious remark; slanderous accusation (esp in the phrase cast aspersions (on))
2.
the act of defaming
3.
(rare) the act of sprinkling, esp of water in baptism
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
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Word Origin and History for aspersions

aspersion

n.

mid-15c., from Latin aspersionem (nominative aspersio) "a sprinkling," noun of action from past participle stem of aspergere "to sprinkle on," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + spargere "sprinkle, strew" (see sparse). Originally in theology, the shedding of Christ's blood. Modern sense of "bespattering with slander" first attested 1590s. To cast aspersions was in Fielding (1749).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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