Trending: defamation,’ ‘defame

Lookups spiked 475% on June 1st, 2022

Why are people looking up the words defamation and defame?

The much-watched Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial concluded with a jury finding that Depp was defamed by an op-ed written by Heard in 2018. The question of defamation, whether Depp's reputation was damaged by false statements in the op-ed, was what the jury was asked to decide.

What do the words defamation and defame mean?

Defamation is defined as:

: the act of communicating false statements about a person that injure the reputation of that person : the act of defaming another

Where do the words defamation and defame come from?

Defamation traces back to French and Latin words meaning "slander" or "accusation." It was first used in English in the late 1300s, and contains the root of the word fame, which itself goes back to Latin and Greek words meaning "to speak."

What is notable about the use of the words defamation and defame?

This defamation case is also referred to as a libel case.

Slander is used when referring to a false and defamatory oral statement about a person, whereas libel refers to a written statement.

Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.

Love It or Hate It

  • heart-fire
  • When asked about her blind date, Carol spoke for hours with vitriol.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Play Blossom: Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

You can make only 12 words. Pick the best ones!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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