Word of the Day Archive
Saturday December 22, 2007
calumny \KAL-uhm-nee\ , noun:
1. False accusation of a crime or offense, intended to injure another's reputation.
2. Malicious misrepresentation; slander.
They would see to it that every suspicious whisper and outright calumny would be repeated in print, breathing fire into the growing spirit of faction.
-- William Safire, Scandalmonger
They protest to him against the universal order, and then reward his kind words by calumny and accusations of . . . inhumanity and cruelty.
-- Paola Capriolo, Floria Tosca
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
-- Shakespeare, Hamlet
Calumny comes, via Middle French, from Latin calumnia, from calvi, "to form intrigues, to deceive." The adjective form is calumnious.