ca·​lum·​ni·​ate kə-ˈləm-nē-ˌāt How to pronounce calumniate (audio)
calumniated; calumniating

transitive verb

: to utter maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations about
: to injure the reputation of by calumny
calumniation noun
calumniator noun
Choose the Right Synonym for calumniate

malign, traduce, asperse, vilify, calumniate, defame, slander mean to injure by speaking ill of.

malign suggests specific and often subtle misrepresentation but may not always imply deliberate lying.

the most maligned monarch in British history

traduce stresses the resulting ignominy and distress to the victim.

so traduced the governor that he was driven from office

asperse implies continued attack on a reputation often by indirect or insinuated detraction.

both candidates aspersed the other's motives

vilify implies attempting to destroy a reputation by open and direct abuse.

no criminal was more vilified in the press

calumniate imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions.

falsely calumniated as a traitor

defame stresses the actual loss of or injury to one's good name.

sued them for defaming her reputation

slander stresses the suffering of the victim.

town gossips slandered their good name

Examples of calumniate in a Sentence

the short-lived Sedition Act of 1798 made it illegal to calumniate the President of the United States

Word History

First Known Use

1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of calumniate was in 1554

Dictionary Entries Near calumniate

Cite this Entry

“Calumniate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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