Definition of aspersion
1a : a false or misleading charge meant to harm someone's reputation casting aspersions on her integrityb : the act of making such a charge : defamation
2 : a sprinkling with water especially in religious ceremonies the aspersion of the congregation before Mass
aspersion was our Word of the Day on 04/24/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Recent Examples of aspersion from the Web
The strategy was clear: cast aspersions on the journalist's old reporting to make his new reporting appear suspect.
As if Freeze didn't have enough questions to answer or dodge here Thursday with the Ole Miss case speeding toward an Infractions Committee hearing, Nutt's lawsuit casts aspersions on his integrity, his adherence to NCAA rules as well as his faith.
There are people throwing aspersions on his program.
While U.S. officials are casting aspersions on his company’s products, privacy advocates see a threat in increasing government pressure for tech companies to provide security backdoors.
In addition to honest criticisms, there have also been a raft of wholly dishonest aspersions cast at Musk and the company.
Rubio called on Trump and the administration to let the investigation go forward and not cast aspersions.
This whole thing has blown up and become so ugly and cast negative aspersions on the county workforce.
That’s not casting aspersions on Tim Army and Dave Farrish, the holdover assistants, but Bednar didn’t have carte blanche to pick his own staff.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aspersion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
aspersion Did Not Always Have Negative Connotations
No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall / To make this contract grow. In this line from Shakespeare's The Tempest, "aspersion" literally refers to a sprinkling of rain, but figuratively means "blessing." Shakespeare's use is true to the heritage of the term. "Aspersion" comes from the Latin word aspersus, itself a derivative of the verb "aspergere," which means "to sprinkle" or "to scatter." When "aspersion" first appeared in English in the 16th century, it referred to the type of sprinklings (for instance, of holy water) that occur in religious ceremonies. But English speakers noted that splatterings can soil and stain, and by the end of the century "aspersion" was also being used for reports that stain or tarnish a reputation.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up aspersion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).