V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary
Definition: to attack or harm someone's reputation with slander or libel
Synonyms: malign, asperse, badmouth, calumniate, denigrate, discredit, disparage, slander, besmirch
Antonyms: commend, champion, exult
Tips: Defame comes from the Latin word diffamare, "to spread an insulting report about." Think, de-faming someone by damaging their fame or taking away their fame. Defame is used in a formal or official context to indicate public damage to someone's reputation. A defamatory statement is one that damages, or defames, a reputation, while defamation is akin to slander. Use the words "defame" or "malign" instead of "badmouth." Defame and malign are much more powerful. Defame should be used when a person's public reputation has been slandered publicly, while malign should be used if someone is saying disparaging things within smaller circles.
The Governor refused to respond in print to the defamatory article about him; instead he hired a lawyer to sue the author and the newspaper. (libelous, damaging) adjective
The online anti-defamation group monitors hate speech on the Internet. (calumny, disparagement) noun
My former employer defamed my reputation in this industry, and as a result, no one will hire me. (badmouthed, denigrated, maligned)
If you defame her reputation, she is sure to sue you. (besmirch, malign)
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