1: a misrepresentation intended to harm another’s reputation
2: the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another’s reputation
The Chicago Boyz post was brought to my attention by Samizdata commenter DOuglas2, who mentioned it in the context of the recent (but seemingly temporary) banning of Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit from Twitter. I can think of numerous examples – the hounding of Tim Hunt being the one that immediately springs to mind – of calumny being alive and well in the modern world, assuming it ever went away.
I’ve known this word, and what it means, since I was about 20 purely because I was, and am, a fan of Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville. Act I Scene II provides probably the best description of calumny there is in an aria – La Calunnia – sung in bass. It’s worth a listen.