From Late Middle English calumnīe (“false accusation, slander; (law) objection raised in bad faith”), 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), 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, calumniārī, present active infinitive of calumnior (“to blame unjustly, misrepresent, calumniate; (law) to accuse falsely, bring false information against”), from calumnia (see above) + -or.
- Hyphenation: ca‧lum‧ny
- A falsification or misrepresentation intended to disparage or discredit another.
- Accusations of abuse were pure extortive calumny in a malicious bid to make money.
- c. 1599–1602, William Shake-speare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: […] (First Quarto), London: Printed [by Valentine Simmes] for N[icholas] L[ing] and Iohn Trundell, published 1603, OCLC 84758312, [Act III, scene i]:
- If thou doſt marry, Ile giue thee / This plague to thy dowry: / Be thou as chaſte as yce, as pure as ſnowe, / Thou ſhalt not ſcape calumny, to a Nunnery goe.
- False accusations or charges brought to tarnish another's reputation or standing.
- (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.
- See Thesaurus:defame
- ^ “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.
- ^ “calumny, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.
- ^ “calumny, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.