Definition of slander in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation.

    ‘he is suing the TV company for slander’
    Compare with libel
    • ‘No need to set him off on a slander suit.’
    • ‘A slander case with global connections has been simmering in Chinatown since November.’
    • ‘Not long ago, however, the vice president filed a slander suit against some members of the Taiwan media.’
    • ‘The slander cases in the years between 1870 and 1890 bear out this assertion.’
    • ‘Libel and slander laws are commonly used to punish unacceptable speech.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]A false and malicious spoken statement.
      ‘I've had just about all I can stomach of your slanders’
      • ‘Ad hominem slanders are fine when directed at former comrades.’
      • ‘However, I hear from others that petty slanders are not only common at HP, they're pretty much a house speciality.’
      • ‘I had the same reaction when the slanders mounted against Thomas.’
      • ‘That, in my view, is the best defense against the slanders, lies, and outrageous absurdities of critics like Cornwell and Goldhagen.’
      • ‘Such slanders are nothing more or less than Social Racism - the belief that certain people are ‘trash’ because of an accident of birth.’
      • ‘For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders.’
      • ‘The defendants are further entitled to know who allegedly uttered the slander, what was said and to whom.’
      • ‘Countries shot back and forth at each other with slanders and false accusations.’
      • ‘If the most vicious slanders imaginable and rampant election fraud don't constitute fighting dirty, what would?’
      • ‘Prominent Americans like Henry Ford spewed vile slanders about them.’
      • ‘Mass arrests and a slander campaign have been the rule ever since.’
      • ‘There is therefore no basis for a cause of action of slander of title.’
      • ‘He vanished into the wilderness in 1848, and shortly afterwards disappeared again beneath a pile of odious slanders.’
      • ‘All of this can be had without the malicious slander or the scandalous headlines.’
      • ‘I think, though, that we should all promise not to sue, however vile the slanders and libels might become.’
      • ‘The response of students to it should banish slanders about ‘student apathy’.’
      • ‘In the hope that the professor has since repented of such vicious slander, I do not mention the name.’
      • ‘I cannot tell you how much of this is truth or malicious slander.’
      • ‘Over against the malicious slanders of these men is the nearly universal admiration for Othello.’
      • ‘One simple reason is that giving credence to honest reports can open the door to malicious slanders of every kind.’
      defamation, defamation of character, character assassination, misrepresentation of character, calumny, libel
      scandalmongering, malicious gossip, muckraking, smear campaigning, disparagement, denigration, derogation, aspersions, vilification, traducement, obloquy, backbiting, scurrility
      lie, slur, smear, untruth, false accusation, false report, insult, slight
      View synonyms


  • Make false and damaging statements about (someone)

    ‘they were accused of slandering the head of state’
    • ‘I respect that you have withheld your name whilst slandering me and all the brownies I live with in brownsville.’
    • ‘These people slandered me in the worst kind of ways, and made me feel like I was worth nothing.’
    • ‘He slandered his fellow soldiers, calling them indiscriminate killers and comparing them to Genghis Kahn.’
    • ‘Once, a competitor was slandering us to some potential customers.’
    • ‘Now, if Coleman were the responsible journalist he claims to be, don't you think he would have done a little investigation before slandering us again?’
    • ‘For their pains, they are slandered and vilified by the likes of Afshah.’
    • ‘I wrote Pejman to tell him I was slandering him, and he wrote back to offer an unsurprisingly able defense against my charges.’
    • ‘I asked my father if I could put the previous post up, as he and my mother are slandered libellously.’
    • ‘He slandered his comrades and he did it, as I wrote in the May 3 issue of National Review, by ‘Americanizing’ Soviet propaganda.’
    • ‘Isn't this the same administration which slanders all opponents and threatened to fire an analyst for telling the truth?’
    • ‘No more worries about slandering Lee Hsien Yang accidentally.’
    • ‘He was shamed by a national radio station who slandered him by suggesting that his favorite band is The Carpenters.’
    • ‘I have decided to close the thread on DARP and remove the thread which slandered him and I know I MUST offer an explanation.’
    • ‘‘Come along now Mrs. Mason,’ the deputy said with a sigh. ‘You can't go around slandering an innocent man.’’
    • ‘When Vajpayee prevented them from violating court orders on the Babri Masjid site, they started slandering him in public.’
    • ‘His stepmother Zhu treated him badly and always slandered him in the front of his father.’
    • ‘Without libeling or slandering anybody, can you talk about murders like that in isolation from the political situation?’
    • ‘I was too cut off from the world to know that the news of my arrest had broken and that the government was slandering me in the press.’
    • ‘I would like to point out at this juncture that I have never slandered her.’
    • ‘When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.’
    defame, defame someone's character, blacken someone's name, give someone a bad name, tell lies about, speak evil of, speak ill of, drag through the mire, drag through the mud, fling mud at, sling mud at, throw mud at, sully someone's reputation, libel, smear, run a smear campaign against, cast aspersions on, spread scandal about, besmirch, tarnish, taint, misrepresent
    malign, traduce, vilify, calumniate, disparage, denigrate, decry, run down
    do a hatchet job on
    derogate, asperse, vilipend
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French esclandre, alteration of escandle, from late Latin scandalum (see scandal).