character assassination

noun

Definition of character assassination

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

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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

The majority leader may have decided that the votes weren’t there and hearings would be a sham, even if Republicans chose not to engage in character assassination in the manner of some Democratic senators. WSJ, "Steadier Politics Require Congress Do Its Job," 4 Oct. 2018 The accusations against him, according to Kelly, are all part of an elaborate character assassination. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "R. Kelly Breaks Down During His Interview With Gayle King—Where Have We Seen This Toxic Masculinity Before?," 6 Mar. 2019 The Democrats are engaged in a campaign of delay and character assassination against Judge Kavanaugh. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Faced with second accuser, Republicans fight for Kavanaugh," 24 Sep. 2018 This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions, from serving our country. Alvin Chang, Vox, "Every time Ford and Kavanaugh answered the question — and didn't answer the question," 28 Sep. 2018 Worse, character assassination proved an effective tactic, nearly sinking Justice Clarence Thomas’s appointment four years later. Mark Pulliam, WSJ, "Robert Bork’s Proud Legacy and the Senate’s Shameful One," 31 Aug. 2018 The attack, the smear, the character assassination against Judge Robert Bork, one of the smartest lawyers ever, one of the greatest professors ever. Fox News, "Levin: Democrats and the judicial confirmation process," 24 Sep. 2018 Moreover, there remains a critical mass of Democrats and left-wing commentators who are eager to give the Clinton strategy of character assassination another go. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Democrats Struggle to Confront Trump-Era Reality," 30 Oct. 2018 Now, the most often used character assassination in the Democratic playbook is to call Republicans racist. Fox News, "Sen. Graham: Allegations against Kavanaugh are collapsing," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'character assassination.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of character assassination

1822, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of character assassination was in 1822

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More Definitions for character assassination

character assassination

noun

English Language Learners Definition of character assassination

: the act of saying false things about a person usually in order to make the public stop liking or trusting that person

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