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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!
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.
rumor has it (that)
It is being rumored that. Rumor has it that the boss is using the company profits to pay off his own gambling debts. No one is certain where the money went, but rumor has it the CEO has been embezzling the funds into offshore accounts.
See also: rumor
dated In the military, any gossip, rumor, or unfounded information passed along in the latrines of soldiers. If the latrine rumors are to be believed, we're going to be relocated to an area outside of Danang next week. You shouldn't believe every latrine rumor you hear, son. When soldiers have too much time on their hands, they start spinning stories.
rumor has it that...
there is a rumor that... Rumor has it that Fred is seeing Mary and that they are engaged.
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.