If your classmate spreads a false rumor that you cheated on the math test, that's slander. Slander is the act of saying an untrue, negative statement about someone.

In law, the word slander is contrasted with libel, which is the act of making a false written statement about someone. The noun slander is from Old French esclandre, escandle, or "scandal," from Late Latin scandalum "stumbling block, offense."

Definitions of slander

n words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another

slanderous remarks or charges
Type of:
calumniation, calumny, defamation, hatchet job, obloquy, traducement
a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions
speech act
the use of language to perform some act

n an abusive attack on a person's character or good name

aspersion, calumny, defamation, denigration
Type of:
strong criticism

v charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

asperse, besmirch, calumniate, defame, denigrate, smear, smirch, sully
destroy or damage seriously, as of someone's reputation
print slanderous statements against
badmouth, drag through the mud, malign, traduce
speak unfavorably about
Type of:
accuse, charge
blame for, make a claim of wrongdoing or misbehavior against

Sign up, it's free!

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