speak ill of

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speak ill of (third-person singular simple present speaks ill of, present participle speaking ill of, simple past spoke ill of, past participle spoken ill of)

  1. To defame; to criticize.
    • 2010 March, R Emmett Tyrrell Jr, “The Lost Liberals”, American Spectator, volume 43, number 2, page 70: 
      Jimmy Carter was the first former president to speak ill of a sitting president while on foreign soil