Definition of calumny
- denounced his opponent for his defamatory insinuations and calumny
- He was the target of calumny for his unpopular beliefs.
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
They uttered calumnies against him.
He was the target of calumny for his unpopular beliefs.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calumny.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Calumny made an appearance in these famous words from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go." The word had been in the English language for a while, though, before Hamlet uttered it. It first entered English in the 15th century and comes from the Middle French word calomnie of the same meaning. Calomnie, in turn, derives from the Latin word calumnia, (meaning "false accusation," "false claim," or "trickery"), which itself traces to the Latin verb calvi, meaning "to deceive."
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
What made you want to look up calumny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).