defamation Definition

the action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel.

Using defamation: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "defamation" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He was sued for defamation of character.

  • Example

    The article was a clear case of defamation.

  • Example

    She was found guilty of defamation in court.

  • Example

    The company threatened to sue for defamation.

defamation Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for defamation

Phrases with defamation

  • a criminal charge brought against someone who has made false statements that harm another person's reputation


    The politician was charged with criminal defamation after making false accusations against his opponent.

  • false spoken statements about a person that harm their reputation, and false written statements about a person that harm their reputation, respectively


    The actress sued the magazine for slander and libel after they published false stories about her personal life.

  • the act of harming someone's reputation by making false statements about them


    The athlete sued the newspaper for defamation of character after they published an article accusing him of cheating.

Origins of defamation

from Old French 'diffamacion', from Latin 'diffamare', meaning 'to spread abroad by ill report'


Summary: defamation in Brief

Defamation [ˌdɛfəˈmeɪʃən] is the act of damaging someone's reputation through false statements, whether spoken (slander) or written (libel). It can result in legal action, such as in the case of 'criminal defamation' or 'defamation of character.' Synonyms include 'smear,' 'vilification,' and 'calumny.'