character assassination


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

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 Is that what Hollywood called lewd and obscene character assassination? Fox News, "Dad of Parkland victim reacts to release of shooter's videos," 1 June 2018 Feden said the defense strategy to attack the credibility of Constand and others amounted to character assassination. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Bill Cosby prosecutor 'filled with awe' after his guilty verdict," 28 Apr. 2018 This was a character assassination that, sure, raised the stakes, but at what cost? Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "10 Things About the Sex and the City Movie That Are Ridiculous—Even By SATC Standards," 30 May 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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Last Updated

5 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for character assassination

The first known use of character assassination was in 1822

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More Definitions for character assassination

character assassination


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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