Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Late Middle English calumnīe (false accusation, slander; (law) objection raised in bad faith),[1] from Old French calomnie (slander, calumny) (modern French calomnie), borrowed from Latin calumnia (false statement, misrepresentation; false accusation, malicious charge) (or directly from the Latin word),[2] perhaps related to calvor (to deceive), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱelh₁- or *ḱh₂l-. The English word is a doublet of challenge.

The verb is derived from French calomnier (to slander), from Late Latin calumniāre, from Latin calumpniārī,[3] calumniārī, present active infinitive of calumnior (to blame unjustly, misrepresent, calumniate; (law) to accuse falsely, bring false information against), from calumnia (see above) + -or.



calumny (countable and uncountable, plural calumnies)

  1. A falsification or misrepresentation intended to disparage or discredit another.
    Accusations of abuse were pure extortive calumny in a malicious bid to make money.
  2. False accusations or charges brought to tarnish another's reputation or standing.


Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from calumny



calumny (third-person singular simple present calumnies, present participle calumnying, simple past and past participle calumnied)

  1. (transitive, formal) To make false accusations or levy false charges against a person with the intent to tarnish that person's reputation or standing; to calumniate.




  1. ^ calumnīe, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 26 November 2018; “calumny” (US) / “calumny” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ calumny, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.
  3. ^ calumny, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.