What does the word defamation mean?

Usage examples for defamation

  1. It has been customary of late, in reaction against the defamation of Raleigh in the eighteenth century, to protest that gold was not his chief aim in the Guiana enterprise, but that his main wish, under cover of the search for gold, was to form a South American colony for England, and to open out the west to general commerce. – Raleigh by Edmund Gosse