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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 aspersion
  • It has been left for his professed friends to fasten upon him this damning aspersion.
  • As an aside, casting aspersion on the whole nation is despicable.
  • He is too preoccupied with his outrage that anyone would dare to cast an aspersion on his perfect facade.
  • Far be it for me to cast aspersion on an estimable guide whose business it is to entertain his guests.
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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11
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