To propagate bad reports with a design to injure the reputation of another to produce purposely false fees of some offense or criminal activity
- To accuse falsely and maliciously of a crime or offense or of anything disreputable to slander to libel
- charge falsely or with malicious intention; attack the great title and reputation of some body
- To accuse falsely and maliciously of a crime or offense, or of one thing disreputable; to slander; to libel.
- To propagate wicked reports with a design to injure the standing of another; which will make purposely untrue costs of some offense or crime.
1550s, from Latin calumniatus, past participle of calumniari "to accuse falsely," from calumnia "slander, untrue accusation" (see calumny). Associated: Calumniated; calumniating.
Flattered and adored at the outset, she very soon furnished a sinister illustration to Beaumarchais Basile; for evil tongues began to calumniate the queen: those of her brothers-in-law, the duc dAiguillon (protector of Madame du Barry and dismissed from the ministry), and the Cardinal de Rohan, recalled from his embassy in Vienna.