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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 of aspersion
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aspersion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Peggotty seemed to take this aspersion very much to heart, I thought.

  • She evidently regarded the statement as an aspersion upon myself.

    Novel Notes Jerome K. Jerome
  • Julia would not have understood the full meaning of this aspersion of her purity, had she not caught Humphreys's eye.

    The End Of The World Edward Eggleston
  • But think not that I ever had any idea of casting an aspersion on you.

    Kosciuszko Monica Mary Gardner
  • It always seems to me, by the way, that the term is an aspersion against the institution of marriage.

  • But of this aspersion he was fully cleared, by the confession of the real father.

  • Loud murmurs of dissent from twenty boys greeted this aspersion.

    Tell England Ernest Raymond
  • "You call 'em hole-proof socks," said Skippy, ignoring the aspersion.

    Skippy Bedelle Owen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for aspersion

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 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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