defamatory

Defamatory is a word used to describe statements that are untrue, slanderous, or libelous. Defamatory language often consists of harmful lies.

Defamatory words — that is, words which defame — are words that can cause real damage. If someone said you were a secret unicorn hunter, that would be a silly, not defamatory, lie. If someone said you were a thief or a traitor, and you weren't, that would be defamatory. Public figures, like celebrities and politicians, are especially sensitive to defamatory statements about them.

Definitions of defamatory
1

adj (used of statements) harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign

Synonyms:
calumniatory, calumnious, denigrating, denigrative, denigratory, libellous, libelous, slanderous
harmful
causing or capable of causing harm

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.