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A concentrated and prolonged effort to damage or ruin someone's or some group's reputation through the perpetuation of rumours, innuendos, and/or falsities, generally as a means of persuading a large amount of people against him, her, or them. Primarily heard in UK. Finding himself at the wrong end of a vicious rumour campaign, the local MP's slim lead heading into the election quickly evaporated. I think we need to start a rumour 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 rumours are generated, spread, and perpetuated among a group of people. Primarily heard in UK. Listen, Barry, you can't believe everything that comes out of the rumour mill. I can guarantee you that there will be no redundancies this year. One of the downsides of gaining celebrity status is having every aspect of your life subjected to the Hollywood rumour 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
rumour has it
COMMON People say rumour has it when they are telling you something that they have heard, but do not necessarily think is true. Rumour has it that tickets were being sold for £300.
See also: rumour
rumour has itit is rumoured.
1993 Margaret Atwood The Robber Bride It's a good thing Roz didn't invest in that one, rumour has it that the backers are losing a shirt or two.
See also: rumour