Gossip vs. Slander

Now, let's expand our vocabulary a bit, don't you think so? What are you waiting for? We wanna talk about the differences and similarities of these two.

"Gossip" vs. "Slander" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both refer to how we judge someone and what we say behind their backs. However, 'gossip' is not something serious and it is just spreading some information about someone, but 'slander' is used when someone intentionally wants to ruin another person's reputation.


We mainly use 'slander' when someone starts spreading information about someone in order to ruin his/her career, status, and reputation. Look at the examples below:

Did you hear the gossip about Barak Obama being a misogynist?

If you hear someone gossiping behind you, just smile and walk away.

'Slander', however, is used when someone tries to spread the kind of information about another person that can seriously damage someone's reputation. Take a look at the following examples:

Dwayne has accused me of cheating on him with several other guys.

This is an example of 'slander'.

Ursula has told the boss that I'm not qualified enough for this position anymore. How dare she!

Here, that person has done something slanderous to another woman's profession.


Both refer to how we judge someone and talk behind their backs. Look at the examples:

I never thought you would sue me for slander.

You the gossip section in any magazine is the most interesting part to read after all.

Are They Interchangeable?

Although they are used in a similar context, they are different in that 'slander' can hurt someone's reputation, whereas, 'gossip' cannot. Compare:

✓ Have you heard the gossip about Madonna getting married for the tenth time?

X Have you heard the slander about Madonna getting married for the tenth time?

Here, this is a gossip but it is not a sander because it cannot ruin that person's reputation.


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