9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kal-uh m-nee] /ˈkæl əm ni/
noun, plural calumnies.
a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something:
The speech was considered a calumny of the administration.
the act of uttering calumnies; slander; defamation.
Origin of calumny
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin calumnia, equivalent to calumn-, perhaps originally a middle participle of calvī to deceive + -ia -y3)
2. libel, vilification, calumniation, derogation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for calumny
  • We are here to open the campaign, not with slander and calumny, but to unite and draw closely to the old party all its members.
  • He faced a coalition of church, industry and popular press, and a nastier one of slander and whispered calumny.
  • We also have the letters which depict a sorrowful heart that suffered so much from the political calumny of his day.
  • Then he would not have to seek office, in itself an undignified procedure which opens to calumny his entire past.
  • Squatting vendors of tea and kebab jostle soapbox ranters hawking high ideals and dirty calumny.
  • Yet in real life, calumny and gossip are what really fuel the precinct, the cafeteria or the operating room.
  • This column acknowledges that the foregoing is not just caricature, it is calumny.
  • One triumphs over calumny only by disdaining it.
  • Think about the calumny you are used to hearing on the editorial pages whenever the topic comes up.
  • He never excused or justified himself if reprehended, and never answered any calumny, even though carried to his superiors.
British Dictionary definitions for calumny


noun (pl) -nies
the malicious utterance of false charges or misrepresentation; slander; defamation
such a false charge or misrepresentation
Word Origin
C15: from Latin calumnia deception, slander
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 calumny

"False & malicious misrepresentation of the words or actions of others, calculated to injure their reputation" [Fowler], mid-15c., from Middle French calomnie (15c.), from Latin calumnia "trickery, subterfuge, misrepresentation, malicious charge," from calvi "to trick, deceive," from PIE root *kel- "to deceive, confuse" (cf. Greek kelein "to bewitch, seduce, beguile," Gothic holon "to deceive," Old Norse hol "praise, flattery," Old English hol "slander," holian "to slander").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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