character assassination


: the slandering of a person usually with the intention of destroying public confidence in that person

Examples of character assassination in a Sentence

None of those rumors are true. She's been the victim of character assassination. the actor's lawyers charge that the tabloid engaged in a deliberate campaign of character assassination
Recent Examples on the Web Mark Kelly Hunter Biden has adopted a legal strategy of threats and character assassination. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, 6 July 2023 The game write-ups often don’t rate a headline on the first sports page, and Dylan Hernández is more focused on character assassination of Anthony Rendon than the actual games. Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2023 This episode takes a deep dive into hit jobs and character assassination attacks against powerful women in the ancient and contemporary political world. Washington Examiner Staff, Washington Examiner, 1 Oct. 2020 The defense also argued the state’s case amounted to character assassination and raised the possibility there might have been two killers. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2023 Twice rejected by the HFPA, longtime Austrian entertainment journalist Evie Sullivan said in a declaration to Flaa’s suit that she was subjected to threats and character assassination from a member of the group who accused her of trying to encroach on the HFPA’s turf. Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2021 Eric Dezenhall is so troubled with media character assassination that he’s written a novel about it, his 11th book. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 26 Feb. 2021 Tshibaka at the time publicly defended Gerace, calling the accusations false and an attempt at character assassination. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Jan. 2023 On the other hand, Kat’s attempt to break up with Ethan by faking a terminal brain illness and then gaslighting him is a move so foolish that Levinson faces accusations of character assassination. Iana Murray, Vulture, 26 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'character assassination.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1822, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of character assassination was in 1822

Dictionary Entries Near character assassination

Cite this Entry

“Character assassination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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