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defamation (n.)

c. 1300, defamacioun, "disgrace, dishonor, ill repute" (senses now obsolete), from Old French diffamacion and directly from Medieval Latin deffamation, from Latin diffamationem (nominative diffamatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of diffamare "to spread abroad by ill report, make a scandal of," from dis-, here probably suggestive of ruination, + fama "a report, rumor" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").

From late 14c. as "the wrong of injuring another's reputation without justification." From early 15c. as "calumny, slander, an instance of defaming."

Origin and meaning of defamation

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Definitions of defamation from WordNet

defamation (n.)
a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions;
Synonyms: calumny / calumniation / obloquy / traducement / hatchet job
defamation (n.)
an abusive attack on a person's character or good name;
From wordnet.princeton.edu