- to attack or injure the reputation or honor of by false and malicious statements; malign, slander, or libel
- Archaic to bring infamy on; disgrace
- Obs. to accuse
Origin of defameMiddle English defamen, diffamen ; from Old French diffamer or Medieval Latin defamere, both ; from Classical Latin diffamare ; from dis-, from + fama: see fame
transitive verbde·famed, de·fam·ing, de·fames
- To damage the reputation, character, or good name of (someone) by slander or libel. See Synonyms at malign.
- Archaic To disgrace.
Origin of defameMiddle English defamen, from Old French defamer, from Medieval Latin d&emacron;famare, alteration of Latin diffamare, to spread news of, slander : dis-, abroad, apart; see dis– + fama, rumor, reputation; see bha-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present defames, present participle defaming, simple past and past participle defamed)