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[dih-fam-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /dɪˈfæm əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
containing defamation; injurious to reputation; slanderous or libelous:
She claimed that the article in the magazine was defamatory.
1585-95; < Medieval Latin diffāmātōrius, equivalent to Latin diffāmā(re) (see defame) + -tōrious -tory1
Related forms
nondefamatory, adjective
undefamatory, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for defamatory
  • The appeals court left it up to a trial court to determine if those statements were defamatory.
  • Irrational and borderline defamatory speech is properly subject to harsh criticism.
  • The public prosecutor is seeking legal advice on whether the book may be defamatory.
  • And if it's incendiary or defamatory or plain sub-human.
  • The courts serve to prevent and punish defamatory statements.
  • Many people are taking steps to protect their online reputations, but combating defamatory remarks is tough.
  • We generally rely on courts to decide if a statement is defamatory according to local law.
  • One may also argue-less persuasively, in my view-against protecting certain forms of public obscenity and defamatory statements.
  • defamatory language is out of place in any professional setting.
  • Gang graffiti, obscenities and defamatory graffiti must be removed or obliterated immediately upon notification.
British Dictionary definitions for defamatory


/dɪˈfæmətərɪ; -trɪ/
injurious to someone's name or reputation
Derived Forms
defamatorily, adverb
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 defamatory
1590s, from M.L.diffamatorius, from diffamat-, from pp. stem of diffamare (see defame).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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