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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb slander differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of slander are asperse, calumniate, defame, malign, traduce, and vilify. While all these words mean "to injure by speaking ill of," slander stresses the suffering of the victim.

town gossips slandered their good name

Where would asperse be a reasonable alternative to slander?

The synonyms asperse and slander are sometimes interchangeable, but asperse implies continued attack on a reputation often by indirect or insinuated detraction.

both candidates aspersed the other's motives

When is calumniate a more appropriate choice than slander?

The words calumniate and slander can be used in similar contexts, but calumniate imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions.

falsely calumniated as a traitor

When would defame be a good substitute for slander?

The words defame and slander are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, defame stresses the actual loss of or injury to one's good name.

sued them for defaming her reputation

When is it sensible to use malign instead of slander?

While the synonyms malign and slander are close in meaning, malign suggests specific and often subtle misrepresentation but may not always imply deliberate lying.

the most maligned monarch in British history

In what contexts can traduce take the place of slander?

The meanings of traduce and slander largely overlap; however, traduce stresses the resulting ignominy and distress to the victim.

so traduced the governor that he was driven from office

When might vilify be a better fit than slander?

In some situations, the words vilify and slander are roughly equivalent. However, vilify implies attempting to destroy a reputation by open and direct abuse.

no criminal was more vilified in the press

Thesaurus Entries Near slander

Cite this Entry

“Slander.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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