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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
aspersion
noun
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
cast aspersions on sth/sb
▪ Criticism of a verdict which casts aspersions on the integrity of jurors may, of course, attract libel actions on that score.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Another implication of the artisanal loaf is the aspersion it casts upon systematic production baking.
▪ Criticism of a verdict which casts aspersions on the integrity of jurors may, of course, attract libel actions on that score.
▪ Despite this, Junius soon got down to the business of casting aspersions against the King's character.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Aspersion

Aspersion \As*per"sion\, n. [L. aspersio, fr. aspergere: cf. F. aspersion.]

  1. A sprinkling, as with water or dust, in a literal sense.

    Behold an immersion, not and aspersion.
    --Jer. Taylor.

  2. The spreading of calumniations reports or charges which tarnish reputation, like the bespattering of a body with foul water; calumny.

    Every candid critic would be ashamed to cast wholesale aspersions on the entire body of professional teachers.
    --Grote.

    Who would by base aspersions blot thy virtue.
    --Dryden.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
aspersion

mid-15c., from Latin aspersionem (nominative aspersio) "a sprinkling," noun of action from past participle stem of aspergere "to sprinkle on," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + spargere "sprinkle, strew" (see sparse). Originally in theology, the shedding of Christ's blood. Modern sense of "a bespattering with slander" first attested 1590s. To cast aspersions was in Fielding (1749).

Wiktionary
aspersion

n. 1 An attack on somebody's reputation or good name, often in the phrase ''to cast aspersions upon…''. 2 (label en obsolete) A sprinkling of Wikipedia:holy water.

WordNet
aspersion
  1. n. a disparaging remark; "in the 19th century any reference to female sexuality was considered a vile aspersion"; "it is difficult for a woman to understand a man's sensitivity to any slur on his virility" [syn: slur]

  2. an abusive attack on a person's character or good name [syn: calumny, slander, defamation, denigration]

  3. the act of sprinkling water in baptism (rare) [syn: sprinkling]

Wikipedia
Aspersion

Aspersion ( la.aspergere/aspersio), in a religious context, is the act of sprinkling with water, especially holy water. Aspersion is a method used in baptism as an alternative to immersion or affusion. The word is formed of the Latinaspergere, 'to sprinkle', of ad, 'to', and spargo, 'I scatter' (, 1 Corinthians 10:2, cf. Psalm 77:16-20).

In addition, aspersion is performed as part of certain rites to remind people of their baptism, such as the renewal of baptismal vows performed by the Roman Catholic Church on Easter.

Usage examples of "aspersion".

Torgon himself took up a bowl with a leafy aspergillum and began circling the altar widdershins, sprinkling it and the bull with aspersions of water infused with mistletoe berries.

But General Grant had the good fortune, in great degree denied to his predecessors, to see his political enemies withdraw their unfounded aspersions during his lifetime, to see his calumniators become his personal and official eulogists, practically retracting the slanders and imputations to which they had given loose tongue when the object at stake was his defeat for the Presidency.

Whatever subterfuge, equivocation or other crooked proceeding be resorted to, if mendacity in any form is a feature of the aspersions we cast upon the neighbor, we sin by calumny, purely and simply.

Can I render her a greater service than to apprize her of the aspersions that have rested on it, and afford her the opportunity of vindication?

In the presence of the defences of the Covenants as deeds, by these preachers, the baseless aspersions of novelists and theologues fade out into oblivion.

Congress came late that summer when he stood in opposition to a proposal for a fast day, and in so doing appeared to cast aspersions on Christianity, to which Adams reacted sharply.

Abu Batn against Zveri was rooted deeply in his inherent racial antipathy for Europeans and their religion, and its growth was stimulated by the aspersions which the Russian had cast upon the courage of the Aarab and his followers.

She felt the extremest anger at the unprovoked and unwarrantable harshness of Miss Margland, and a resentment nearly equal at the determined petulance, and unjustifiable aspersions of Indiana.

It is my duty to inform Their Excellencies of the situation, and the aspersions you have cast on them must, of course, be taken into account in judging your case.

At last I happened to be reading a religious writer,--as he thought himself,-- who threw aspersions on his opponents thick and threefold.

This was the consideration that incessantly prompted, and still importunes me to run every risk of life and fortune, rather than leave my fame under such an ignominious aspersion.

See it like a native February 16, 1987 Forgive a little boosterism, but I'm getting sick and tired of people casting aspersions on the land-sales business here in the Sunshine State.

It is not the purpose of this letter to cast aspersions on the loyalty of your sister-in-law.

A departure from Jefferson's prevailing silence in Congress came late that summer when he stood in opposition to a proposal for a fast day, and in so doing appeared to cast aspersions on Christianity, to which Adams reacted sharply.

Not that I mean to say she would have done so if be had, for I am not one to cast aspersions on another man’.