One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he had been defamed by an article in a tabloid newspaper’
libel, slander, malign, cast aspersions on, smear, traduce, blacken the character of, blacken the name of, give someone a bad name, defame someone's character, sully someone's reputation, run down, speak evil of, speak ill of, back-bite, run a smear campaign against, calumniate, vilify, besmirch, tarnish, stigmatize, disparage, denigrate, discredit, decry, insult, lie about, tell lies about
informal do a hatchet job on, fling mud at, sling mud at, throw mud at, drag through the mire, drag through the mud
North American slur
British informal slag off
North American informal bad-mouth
rare asperse, derogate, vilipend
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