Cast aspersions

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Cast aspersions is an idiom that dates back to the late 1500s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the phrase cast aspersions, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To cast aspersions means to call into question someone’s integrity, to criticize someone’s character, to slander someone. The phrase cast aspersions first appeared in the late sixteenth century as an idiom. The word aspersion means to sprinkle with something, such as sprinkling water during a religious ceremony. It is derived from the Latin word aspersionem. Today, one rarely sees the word aspersion used outside of the idiom cast aspersions. Related phrases are casts aspersions, casting aspersions. Note that aspersions is plural.


Instead of repudiating the hate speech, the Islamic Center of Davis posted a statement that misrepresented the facts surrounding the unfortunate violence at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and also cast aspersions on the integrity of a widely respected organization that translated the imam’s sermon to English. (The Sacramento Bee)

That LeBron James would cast aspersions on Stephen A. Smith’s reporting again shows in a land of a thousand Gasbags, SAS has the ability to crash through the wall of sound with his own brand of noise and become part of the storyline. (The New York Daily News)

“My initial reaction [to Trump’s tweet] was I felt like Bill Murray in Ghostbusters—that I’d just been slimed,” said Schiff, who learned that the commander in chief had cast aspersions on his character shortly before boarding a flight from California to Washington, D.C. (The Atlantic)

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