Definition of bad-mouth in English:



[with object]informal
  • Criticize (someone) behind their back.

    ‘no one wants to hire an individual who bad-mouths a prior employer’
    • ‘The point is, I started bad-mouthing people as if its nobody's business, because I thought the victims would never read it anyway.’
    • ‘I don't believe in bad-mouthing anyone, but he has gone out of his way.’
    • ‘Even if he wasn't a colleague, it wasn't very nice to be out bad-mouthing anybody, no matter how much they deserved it.’
    • ‘I growled under my breath as I listened to my Mom bad-mouthing me.’
    • ‘We were willing to let it go, but they are bad-mouthing him.’
    • ‘Bonny's still alive, and you see Harland Braun bad-mouthing her.’
    • ‘As if I had enough to fill my plate, now I have to worry about my ex-best friend bad-mouthing me behind my back.’
    • ‘Mr. Branton had been bad-mouthing me for years and had alleged that I had no rights to any Jimi Hendrix recordings.’
    • ‘Tell him you're not bad-mouthing him and would appreciate the same respect.’
    • ‘There is a big ego at work here, one that takes umbrage at being patronised and is not averse to bad-mouthing anyone he deems incompetent.’
    • ‘He is raving and ranting and bad-mouthing the minister.’
    • ‘So, if I'm a philistine I'm proud to be one and please let's stop bad-mouthing a people of whom we know not nearly enough.’
    • ‘I don't think it's helpful for people to be bad-mouthing the local officials.’
    • ‘When he did try to hype a fight, bad-mouthing an opponent, he never seemed to have his heart in it.’
    • ‘MPs refused to respond to her letters, bad-mouthed her to the speaker, harangued her on the phone and threatened to sue her if she proceeded with her inquiries.’
    • ‘Four years later, I was asleep on the Friday afternoon when my wife came in and told me there was a story on radio about Henry bad-mouthing me with a microphone switched on.’
    • ‘We don't have to be character assassins, we don't have to issue screeds, we don't have to be bad-mouthing other people, but we do have to use logic and reason and persuasion and show why our positions really make more sense for America.’
    • ‘But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him.’
    • ‘He learned that she was bad-mouthing him to his superiors as ‘lacking a moral compass’.’
    • ‘But he bad-mouthed me after I left, and then when the Sunday Express started to do well he was going around saying that he taught me everything I know.’
    belittle, denigrate, deprecate, depreciate, downgrade, play down, deflate, trivialize, minimize, make light of, treat lightly, undervalue, underrate, underestimate
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