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defamation means to state an untruth, half truth or innuedno that interfers with the persons reputation and interfers with one's finances.
typically, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include false and defamatory statement concerning another; the unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement); if the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and damage to the plaintiff.
in a defamation proceeding the plaintiff (the person who files the suit) needs to show the statements are false and there is damage to the reputation