Cast aspersions


      • criticize someone or something
        To make negative or disapproving remarks about someone or something, often without any evidence or proof to support the criticism

      • question the integrity or reputation of someone
        To suggest or imply doubts or suspicions about someone's character or actions, often in a malicious or damaging way

      • spread false rumors or accusations
        To maliciously and falsely accuse someone of wrongdoing, often with the intention of damaging their reputation or credibility

    Examples of Cast aspersions

    • The politician's opponents have been casting aspersions on his character, implying that he has questionable morals.

      To cast aspersions is to make unfounded or malicious accusations against someone's character or reputation. In this example, the opponents are implying that the politician has done something dishonorable, without providing any evidence to support their claims.

    • The rumors circulating around the office have been casting aspersions on the new hire's abilities, making it difficult for her to prove herself.

      In this example, the rumors are implying that the new hire is not competent in her job, without any concrete evidence to support this claim. This can make it challenging for her to establish herself in the workplace and earn the respect of her colleagues.

    • The tabloid magazine has been casting aspersions on the celebrity's marriage, suggesting that there are problems in the relationship.

      In this example, the magazine is implying that the celebrity's marriage is not stable, without any concrete evidence to support this claim. This can create unnecessary drama and tension in the celebrity's personal life.

    • The critics have been casting aspersions on the play, claiming that it is poorly written and lacks depth.

      In this example, the critics are implying that the play is not of high quality, without providing any specific examples to support their claims. This can make it difficult for the play to gain recognition and attract audiences.

    • The opposition party has been casting aspersions on the government's policies, accusing them of being misguided and detrimental to the country's future.

      In this example, the opposition party is implying that the government's policies are not in the best interest of the country, without providing any concrete evidence to support this claim. This can create political tension and make it challenging for the government to implement their policies.


    The idiom "cast aspersions" is commonly used to describe the act of criticizing or making negative remarks about someone or something. It can also refer to questioning the integrity or reputation of someone, often with malicious intent. In some cases, it may also suggest spreading false rumors or accusations.

    The phrase is often used in a figurative sense, as "casting" refers to throwing something out or spreading it around, while "aspersions" refers to damaging remarks or false accusations. This combination of words creates a vivid image of someone maliciously attacking or spreading negativity.

    Origin of "Cast aspersions"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the 16th century, where it was first used in the phrase "to cast aspersions upon." The word "aspersion" comes from the Latin word "aspergere," meaning "to sprinkle," which was often used in religious contexts to refer to sprinkling holy water.

    Over time, the phrase evolved to simply "cast aspersions," and it became a common expression in the English language. It is often used in a formal or academic context, but can also be used in everyday language.

    One possible origin of the phrase could be from the biblical story of Jesus' crucifixion, where a soldier "cast lots" to determine who would receive Jesus' garments. This could have eventually evolved into the phrase "cast aspersions," referring to throwing out negative remarks or accusations. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory.

    Overall, the idiom "cast aspersions" is a powerful and evocative phrase that conveys the act of criticizing or damaging someone's reputation in a forceful and malicious manner. Its origins may be uncertain, but its usage and meaning remain relevant in modern English.