asperse

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v asperse charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone "The journalists have defamed me!" "The article in the paper sullied my reputation"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Asperse To bespatter with foul reports or false and injurious charges; to tarnish in point of reputation or good name; to slander or calumniate; as, to asperse a poet or his writings; to asperse a man's character. "With blackest crimes aspersed ."
    • Asperse To sprinkle, as water or dust, upon anybody or anything, or to besprinkle any one with a liquid or with dust.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • asperse To besprinkle; scatter over.
    • asperse To bespatter with foul reports or false and injurious charges; tarnish in point of reputation or good name; slander; calumniate.
    • asperse Synonyms Asperse, Defame, Calumniate, Slander, Malign, Traduce, Libel, Vilify, decry, depreciate, disparage, slur, run down, lampoon, blacken. These words are all descriptive of attempts to injure reputation by false statements. They all apply primarily and chiefly to persons. There is often little or no difference between them. Asperse is, literally, to bespatter, as with mud or dirt; it sometimes implies injury to reputation by indirect insinuation. Defame is, literally, to lower the fame or repute of, to bring toward infamy, to make charges that are more open and weighty than aspersions. Calumniate, slander, and malign represent the most deliberate and deadly assaults upon reputation. The calumniator is most often the inventor of the falsehoods he circulates. The slanderer is less inventive and more secret, his work being generally behind the back of the injured person. The maligner is most mischievous, malicious, or malign in his motives. To traduce is to misrepresent, to show in an odious light. Libel and slander are the words most used in speaking of injury to reputation in its relation to the possible recovery of damages at law. To libel, therefore, often suggests the pecuniary loss by defamation; libel is strictly effected by publication, while slander is strictly by word of mouth. Vilify is, literally, to make one (seem) vile; it suggests a defamation of the coarser and more abusive sort. See decry.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Asperse as-pėrs′ to slander or calumniate: to bespatter (with)
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Idioms

Cast aspersion - If you cast aspersion, you try to blacken someone's name and make people think badly of them.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. aspersus, p. p. of aspergere, to scatter, sprinkle; ad, + spargere, to strew. See Sparse

Usage

In literature:

Juvenal, Johnson's aspersions on, i.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
He likewise Draws up Advertisements; and Asperses after the newest Method.
"A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling (1726)" by Anonymous
I will not cast any aspersions on your hearts, but your heads certainly do you no credit.
"On the Future of our Educational Institutions" by Friedrich Nietzsche
So incensed was I at his aspersions of Roger that I almost laughed when he spoke of disinheriting me.
"A Romantic Young Lady" by Robert Grant
See also Mr. Logan's letter in vindication of Mr. Henderson, from these aspersions cast on him by Messrs. Sage and Ruddiman.
"Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies)" by John Howie
Then he sprang to refute the terrible aspersion against the girl he loved.
"Rose O'Paradise" by Grace Miller White
How strangely and how cruelly has the character of a bibliographer been aspersed!
"Bibliomania; or Book-Madness" by Thomas Frognall Dibdin
This is but one more example of Continental aspersion.
"Mr. Punch Awheel"
I disdain his aspersions and his insinuations.
"Patrick Henry" by Moses Coit Tyler
Once more it came to her that she must claim her own part of the aspersion.
"The Wings of the Dove, Volume II" by Henry James
And there was a touch of aspersion in his voice.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
Mrs. Anne Gilchrist defended him from the aspersions cast upon his references to womanhood.
"Walt Whitman Yesterday and Today" by Henry Eduard Legler
They vindicated him against the base aspersion.
"The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of Jane Austen" by Jane Austen
No pleader would ruin himself by defending a girl thus heavily aspersed.
"La Sorcière: The Witch of the Middle Ages" by Jules Michelet
His prestige had suffered because of aspersions.
"The Story of Old Fort Loudon" by Charles Egbert Craddock
What an aspersion upon her royal dignity.
"Portia" by Duchess
The usual mode of purification was dipping in water (immersion), or it was performed by aspersion.
"Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions" by T. W. Doane
To asperse the memory of one like him is to dare that which no man can, with truth and honor.
"Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume II (of II)" by Charles James Lever
Another use of historical study is to enable us to vindicate our race from unjust aspersions.
"The Revival of Irish Literature" by Charles Gavan Duffy
Joseph the carter seemed to take this as some aspersion on himself.
"The Ten-foot Chain" by Achmed Abdullah
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In poetry:

Faults doubtless had he. Had we not
Our own, to question and asperse
The worth we doubted or forgot
Until beside his hearse?
"Samuel J. Tilden" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Mycilla dyes her locks, 'tis said:
But 'tis a foul aspersion;
She buys them black; they therefore need
No subsequent immersion.
"On An Old Woman (From The Greek)" by William Cowper
Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers will be sure to hear
The trumpet of contention;
Aspersion is the babbler’s trade,
To listen is to lend him aid,
And rush into dissension.
"Friendship" by William Cowper
The sordid tribes who say and then unsay,
And flatter or asperse, and each for pay,
Of these, though here full rife, no talk we hold,
But leave them—glad to leave them—to their gold.
"Pretence. Part II - The Library" by John Kenyon

In news:

I'm amazed that the Obama campaign still casts aspersions on the veracity of the Romney/Ryan team.
Time to harvest the usual conclusions, notions, laments and aspersions as the games of the long, long, regular baseball season dwindle down to a precious few.
I've never been one to go around looking for racial aspersions.
To make a movie as daring and ambitious as The Tree of Life , one needs to forget all about critical reaction, aspersions or box office results.
To make a movie as daring and ambitious as The Tree of Life, one needs to forget all about critical reaction, aspersions or box office results.
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