One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Attack or criticize the reputation or integrity of.‘he aspersed the place and its inhabitants’
belittle, denigrate, deprecate, depreciate, downgrade, play down, deflate, trivialize, minimize, make light of, treat lightly, undervalue, underrate, underestimateView synonyms
- ‘He was severely reprimanded by the court, for aggravating his guilt by aspersing the character of a woman of remarkable virtue and piety, whom he had cruelly deprived of life.’
- ‘Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them.’
- ‘The first approach, ‘Teaching for commitment’ or the confessional approach was traditionally used in ancient churches and has since been aspersed as promoting indoctrination.’
- ‘We are bound to defend those whom we hear aspersed, and who are spoken unworthily of by the persons whom we incidentally encounter.’
- ‘Please be assured that I will not tolerate myself, or my hard-working co-workers to be unjustly aspersed.’
Late 15th century (in the sense ‘spatter with liquid’): from Latin aspers- ‘sprinkled’, from the verb aspergere, from ad- ‘to’ + spargere ‘sprinkle’.
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