a false accusation meant to harm
calumny - slander
‘Calumny’ refers to a false and malicious charge, statement, or misrepresentation about somebody in order to damage their reputation. It is a tactic frequently employed during political elections in order to influence voters.
The politician said that he would not engage in calumny in order to discredit his political opponent.
The charges the newspaper made against me are utterly calumnious, and I intend to sue for libel.
Lucy protested her innocence and claimed that she was the victim of vicious calumnies.