As*perse" (#), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Aspersed (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Aspersing.] [L. aspersus, p. p. of aspergere to scatter, sprinkle; ad + spargere to strew. See Sparse.]

1.

To sprinkle, as water or dust, upon anybody or anything, or to besprinkle any one with a liquid or with dust.

Heywood.

2.

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. Cowper.

Syn. -- To slander; defame; detract from; calumniate; vilify. -- To Asperse, Defame, Slander, Calumniate. These words have in common the idea of falsely assailing the character of another. To asperse is figuratively to cast upon a character hitherto unsullied the imputation of blemishes or faults which render it offensive or loathsome. To defame is to detract from a man's honor and reputation by charges calculated to load him with infamy. Slander (etymologically the same as scandal) and calumniate, from the Latin, have in common the sense of circulating reports to a man's injury from unworthy or malicious motives. Men asperse their neighbors by malignant insinuations; they defame by advancing charges to blacken or sully their fair fame; they slander or calumniate by spreading injurious reports which are false, or by magnifying slight faults into serious errors or crimes.

 

© Webster 1913.

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