speak ill of


Also found in: Legal.

speak ill of someone

to say something bad about someone. I refuse to speak ill of any of my friends. Max speaks ill of no one and refuses to repeat gossip.
See also: ill, of, speak

speak/think ˈill of somebody

(formal) say or think bad things about somebody: You shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.
See also: ill, of, somebody, speak, think
References in classic literature ?
To be governed (as we call it) by one is not safe; for it shows softness, and gives a freedom, to scandal and disreputation; for those, that would not censure or speak ill of a man immediately, will talk more boldly of those that are so great with them, and thereby wound their honor.
Wrights grandfather stole a sheep but Marilla says we mustent speak ill of the dead.
I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life.
Indeed, many of these poor fellows (as the event proved) were upon their last cruise; the deep seas and cannibal fish received them; and it is a thankless business to speak ill of the dead.
He was slinking about in his boat,' says Tom, 'which slinking were, not to speak ill of the dead, the manner of the man, when he come right athwart the steamer's bows and she cut him in two.
But I never allow myself to speak ill of her, on Frank's account; for I do believe her to be very fond of him.
I said at length, "do not speak ill of those who are wise and who had seen much before you were born.
Islamabad -- MNA Ayesha Gulalai has claimed that the ruling PML-N had offered her a ticket for the upcoming Senate elections, but she turned down the proposal as it came with the requirement that she speak ill of the country's armed forces.
It is said we should not speak ill of the dead, but there is nothing good that can be said of a cold, calculating, manipulative psychopath.
The 44-year-old singer admitted that "I'm against anyone speak ill of others, especially when they're someone with a long, successful and international career like Diab's.
Personally, I don't like when people speak ill of my teammates especially when it's uncalled for,' said Gumabao.
But Ricky, 77, said it was "wrong to speak ill of the dead.
Addressing his followers from London via phone, Hussain also asked MQM leaders to not to speak ill of their opponents at the public rallies and corner meetings.
Loathe as we are to speak ill of the great Vivienne Westwood, this Wcreased baby blue taffeta affair, from the Dame's spring 2015 collection, has overtones of unmade bed about it, while the horns should have been put away at Halloween.
Loathe as we are to speak ill of the great Vivienne Westwood, this creased baby blue taffeta affair, from the Dame's spring 2015 collection, has overtones of unmade bed about it, while the horns should have been put away at Halloween.