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Etymology

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From Middle English slaundre, sclaundre, from Old French esclandre, from Ecclesiastical Latin scandalum (stumbling block, temptation), from Ancient Greek σκάνδαλον (skándalon, scandal). Doublet of scandal.

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Noun

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slander (countable and uncountable, plural slanders)

  1. A false or unsupported, malicious statement (spoken, not written), especially one which is injurious to a person's reputation; the making of such a statement.

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Verb

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slander (third-person singular simple present slanders, present participle slandering, simple past and past participle slandered)

  1. To utter a slanderous statement about; baselessly speak ill of.
    • 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: [], London: [] [R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] [], published 1602, →OCLC, Act III:
      Tuc[ca]. [] Can thy Author doe it impudently enough?
      Hiſt[rio]. O, I warrant you, Captaine: and ſpitefully inough too; he ha's one of the moſt ouerflowing villanous wits, in Rome. He will ſlander any man that breathes; If he diſguſt him.
      Tucca. I'le know the poor, egregious, nitty Raſcall; and he haue ſuch commendable Qualities, I'le cheriſh him: []

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