slander

1 of 2

verb

slan·​der ˈslan-dər How to pronounce slander (audio)
slandered; slandering ˈslan-d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce slander (audio)

transitive verb

: to utter slander against : defame
slanderer noun

slander

2 of 2

noun

1
: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation
2
: a false and defamatory oral statement about a person compare libel
slanderous adjective
slanderously adverb
slanderousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for slander

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 slander in a Sentence

Verb She was accused of slandering her former boss. Noun She is being sued for slander. He was a target of slander. We've heard countless unsupported slanders about her.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
He was rehabilitated in order to slander the likes of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Henry Cabot Lodge, and their partisan and ideological heirs in the America that followed the Second World War. Dan McLaughlin, National Review, 6 Feb. 2024 Most left his service slandered by him and disgusted by his antics. Nr Editors, National Review, 22 Dec. 2023 The aftermath of the shooting was disappointing but not surprising; though Megan was the victim, not the perpetrator of the violence, she was harassed and slandered by everyone from her peers in the industry to keyboard warriors on social media. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 7 Nov. 2023 Why did Jews embrace entertainment that slandered them? Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 7 Oct. 2023 These are people who have no compunctions about slandering working Americans while taking every opportunity themselves for slacking off. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 The Chainsmokers and Miranda Lambert need to stop slandering the selfie’s name. Vulture, 18 July 2023 And tonight’s final chapter did not disappoint, though was oversold by its executive producer, spawning a plethora of wild conspiracy theories, from a Raquel pregnancy to Lisa Vanderpump slander to a Brock/Raquel tryst to Scandoval originating pre-Rachella. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2023 At the time, the actor dismissed the claims as an attempt to slander Scientology. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2023
Noun
The papers stemmed from a 2023 slander suit Otaola is facing from another local media personality, political consultant Sasha Tirador, who claims Otaola falsely accused her of being tied to the Cuban government. Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald, 23 Feb. 2024 Accused of poisoning members of the cult, Truth sued again in 1835—this time successfully for slander. Cynthia Greenlee, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Feb. 2024 Bronwyn Stanford, ousted from her county job last year by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, has settled a slander suit filed by Yolanda Berkowitz, a benefactor of the county’s pet shelter and sterilization efforts. Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 But in combination, the term can land as a moral slander — or worse. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, 22 Jan. 2024 The last royal to do so was King Edward VII, who testified as a witness in a divorce case in 1870 and again in a slander trial over a card game in 1890 before becoming monarch. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 19 Jan. 2024 The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens spent the weeks following the 10/7 massacre retailing some of the most ignorant and outrageous slanders against Israel. Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 Thankfully, Taylor Swift slander will not be part of the programming at the 2024 People’s Choice Awards on February 8. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2024 The last royal to give evidence was King Edward VII, who testified before becoming king as a witness in a divorce case in 1870 and as well as a slander trial over a card game in 1890. Maria Mercedes Lara, Peoplemag, 7 June 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English sclaundre, slaundre, from Anglo-French esclandre, alteration of escandle, from Late Latin scandalum stumbling block, offense — more at scandal entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of slander was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near slander

Cite this Entry

“Slander.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slander. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

slander

1 of 2 noun
slan·​der ˈslan-dər How to pronounce slander (audio)
1
: the making of false statements that damage another's reputation
2
: a false and harmful oral statement about a person
slanderous
-d(ə-)rəs
adjective
slanderously adverb

slander

2 of 2 verb
slandered; slandering
-d(ə-)riŋ
: to utter slander against : defame
slanderer
-dər-ər
noun

Legal Definition

slander

1 of 2 transitive verb
slan·​der ˈslan-dər How to pronounce slander (audio)
: to utter slander against
slanderer noun

slander

2 of 2 noun
1
: defamation of a person by unprivileged oral communication made to a third party
also : defamatory oral statements
2
: the tort of oral defamation
sued his former employer for slander
compare defamation, false light, libel

Note: An action for slander may be brought without alleging and proving special damages if the statements in question have a plainly harmful character, as by imputing to the plaintiff criminal guilt, serious sexual misconduct, or conduct or a characteristic affecting his or her business or profession.

slanderous adjective
slanderously adverb
slanderousness noun
Etymology

Noun

Anglo-French esclandre, from Old French escandle esclandre scandal, from Late Latin scandalum moral stumbling block, disgrace, from Greek skandalon, literally, snare, trap

More from Merriam-Webster on slander

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!