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defame

[dih-feym] /dɪˈfeɪm/
verb (used with object), defamed, defaming.
1.
to attack the good name or reputation of, as by uttering or publishing maliciously or falsely anything injurious; slander or libel; calumniate:
The newspaper editorial defamed the politician.
2.
Archaic. to disgrace; bring dishonor upon.
3.
Archaic. to accuse.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English defamen (< Anglo-French defamer) < Medieval Latin dēfāmāre, by-form of Medieval Latin, Latin diffāmāre (dē- de- for dif-; compare Latin dēfāmātus infamous) to spread the news of, slander, equivalent to dif- dif- + -fāmāre verbal derivative of fāma news, rumor, slander (see fame); replacing Middle English diffamen (< Anglo-French, Old French diffamer) < Medieval Latin, Latin, as above
Related forms
defamer, noun
defamingly, adverb
undefamed, adjective
undefaming, adjective
Can be confused
defame, libel, slander.
Synonyms
1. malign, disparage, discredit, vilify, derogate, revile, denigrate, backbite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for defame
  • Typical elitist, unwilling to take responsibility for his actions and attempts to defame and slander his coach.
  • He said the film would depict individuals and would not defame or stereotype a group.
  • By impugning our actions, for what appears to be some political gain, you defame us and do your viewers a profound disservice.
  • If you defame someone, one possible way to resolve the problem is to publish a retraction.
  • He should not have had to worry about the threat of nefarious and petty efforts to defame his character.
British Dictionary definitions for defame

defame

/dɪˈfeɪm/
verb (transitive)
1.
to attack the good name or reputation of; slander; libel
2.
(archaic) to indict or accuse
Derived Forms
defamer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French defamer, from Latin dēfāmāre, from diffāmāre to spread by unfavourable report, from fāmafame
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 defame
v.

c.1300, from Old French defamer (13c., Modern French diffamer), from Medieval Latin defamare, from Latin diffamare "to spread abroad by ill report, make a scandal of," from dis- suggestive of ruination + fama "a report, rumor" (see fame (n.)). Related: Defamed; defaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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