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rumor campaign

A concentrated and prolonged effort to damage or ruin someone's or some group's reputation through the perpetuation of rumors, innuendos, and/or falsities, generally as a means of persuading a large number of people against him, her, or them. Primarily heard in US. The local sheriff's slim lead heading into the election quickly evaporated after he found himself at the wrong end of a vicious rumor campaign. I think we need to start a rumor campaign to slow down the competitor's growth in the market, but no one can know that it's coming from us!
See also: campaign, rumor

rumor mill

The source from, or process by, which rumors are generated, spread, and perpetuated among a group of people. Primarily heard in US. Listen, Barry, you can't believe everything that comes out of the rumor mill. I can guarantee you that there will be no layoffs this year. One of the downsides of having a celebrity status is having every aspect of your life subjected to the Hollywood rumor mill.
See also: mill, rumor

rumor has it that...

there is a rumor that... Rumor has it that Fred is seeing Mary and that they are engaged.
See also: rumor, that

latrine rumor

(ləˈtrin ˈrumɚ)
n. any rumor, especially one that is alleged to spread at the latrine [general toilet facilities]. (see also furphy, scuttlebutt.) Somebody started spreading a latrine rumor about the colonel’s wife.
See also: latrine, rumor
References in classic literature ?
As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awak- ened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors.
There will be all sorts of rumors on the street," Dowsett warned Daylight, "but do not let them frighten you.
He saw it all and marveled, guessing immediately that this must be the strange white demon concerning whom he had heard vague rumors before Momaya came to him.
Not only where you are- at the heart of affairs and of the world- is the talk all of war, even here amid fieldwork and the calm of nature- which townsfolk consider characteristic of the country- rumors of war are heard and painfully felt.
Next morning, Tuesday, Alexey Alexandrovitch, on waking up, recollected with pleasure his triumph of the previous day, and he could not help smiling, though he tried to appear indifferent, when the chief secretary of his department, anxious to flatter him, informed him of the rumors that had reached him concerning what had happened in the Commission.
For his part, attorney Nawaf Al-Sharqawi believes that in Kuwait there are no specific laws to punish rumor mongers and that the ones in effect actually address those who promote false and groundless news.
But when the rumor mill targets the vulnerable, inhibits operations or is maliciously prejudicial to order and common decency, then supervisors, managers, senior leaders and peers need to confront the innuendo directly.
The Egyptian businessman said that he's stunned by the intensity of the rumor alleging that he's trying to convince Haifa to get back together with him.
Based on the wealth of data that has become available in recent years we may provide answers to additional questions: How much does each kind of rumor affect abnormal returns prior to the event day (due to a "leakage process"), on the event day, and afterwards.
Now, according to the rumors, Apple is thinking it is probably time for a change - the rumor first appeared from iLounge and then it was repeated in iMore.
According to another rumor, iodized salt could prevent harm from radiation, which caused panic buying a year ago following the leak at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
It is a self-reinforcing process that seems to amplify rumor beliefs through repetition.
CAIRO: A prophecy suggesting that Pope Shenouda would die last Sunday left members of the Egyptian Orthodox Church and the larger Coptic community worried about the authenticity and the source of the rumor.
Rumor psychology; social and organizational approaches.
Persistent rumor has it that some Disney executives were recently in Mountain View scoping out a location for another Disneyland.