of character

defamation (of character)

n. the act of making untrue statements about another which damages his/her reputation. If the defamatory statement is printed or broadcast over the media it is libel and, if only oral, it is slander. Public figures, including officeholders and candidates have to show that the defamation was made with malicious intent and was not just fair comment. Damages for slander may be limited to actual (special) damages unless there is malice. Some statements such as an accusation of having committed a crime, having a feared disease, or being unable to perform one's occupation are called libel per se or slander and can more easily lead to large money awards in court and even punitive damage recovery by the person harmed. Most states provide for a demand for a printed retraction of defamation and only allow a lawsuit if there is no such admission of error. (See: fair comment)

References in classic literature ?
drama), truth of character is properly sacrificed to other objects, such as the main effect.
In its subtlest operations, further, Imagination penetrates below the surface and comprehends and brings to light the deeper forces and facts--the real controlling instincts of characters, the real motives for actions, and the relations of material things to those of the spiritual world and of Man to Nature and God.
Thus, men of character are the conscience of the society to which they belong.
His love of conversation, his affection, his indifference to riches, even his garrulity, are interesting traits of character.
I may add, that when under nature the conditions of life do change, variations and reversions of character probably do occur; but natural selection, as will hereafter be explained, will determine how far the new characters thus arising shall be preserved.
A chef d'oeuvre of that kind of quiet evolution of character through circumstance, introduced into English literature by Miss Austen, and carried to perfection in France by George Sand (who is more to the point, because, like Mrs.
Among the herd of journals which are published in the States, there are some, the reader scarcely need be told, of character and credit.
I should have thought it needed a good deal of character to throw up a career after half an hour's meditation, because you saw in another way of living a more intense significance.
Washington's success is, then, not his teaching the pupils of Tuskegee, nor even gaining the support of philanthropic persons at a distance, but this--that every Southern white man of character and of wisdom has been won to a cordial recognition of the value of the work, even men who held and still hold to the conviction that a mere book education for the Southern blacks under present conditions is a positive evil.
This rigid adhesion to truth, an indispensable requisite in history and travels, destroys the charm of fiction; for all that is necessary to be conveyed to the mind by the latter had better be done by delineations of principles, and of characters in their classes, than by a too fastidious attention to originals.
The facts, however, will prove to be linked and banded together by one grand scheme, devised and conducted by a master spirit; one set of characters, also, continues throughout, appearing occasionally, though sometimes at long intervals, and the whole enterprise winds up by a regular catastrophe; so that the work, without any labored attempt at artificial construction, actually possesses much of that unity so much sought after in works of fiction, and considered so important to the interest of every history.
Melville's power in describing and investing with romance scenes and incidents witnessed and participated in by himself, and his frequent failure of success as an inventor of characters and situations, were early pointed out by his critics.