speak ill of (someone or something)

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speak ill of (someone or something)

To say malicious, objectionable, or defamatory things about someone or something. I've just always had the philosophy that it does no good to speak ill of anyone, so instead I direct that energy toward finding solutions to problems. Anyone who speaks ill of the government in this country runs the risk of being thrown in prison, or worse. You say we shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but we should never forget the misdeeds of those who were once in power, lest history repeats itself.
See also: ill, of, speak

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 ?
But this little thing would be spoken ill of directly, if she happened to be seen walking with him; and then those excellent people, the Poysers, to whom a good name was as precious as if they had the best blood in the land in their veins--he should hate himself if he made a scandal of that sort, on the estate that was to be his own some day, and among tenants by whom he liked, above all, to be respected.
It may be recalled that Mr Ahsan had earlier spoken ill of late Begum Kulsoom Nawaz when she was getting therapy for cancer at London by saying the hospital she was admitted to was owned by the Sharifs and was not meant for cancer patients.
'Even US President [Donald] Trump has not spoken ill of Cambodia.
Last month, Albayalde ordered the Directorate for Information and Communication Technology Management (DICTM) to identify police officers who had spoken ill of him on a Facebook page, Buhay Lespu (Life of a Policeman).
He said Binay has never spoken ill of President Aquino and his governance while in the Cabinet, noting the service Binay made in the past five years as part of the Cabinet.
Jayaprada also tried to mend fences with TDP President Chandrababu Naidu by saying she had never spoken ill of him during her visit to Tirupati in April.
He asked who would want to kill Miss Dando - she was popular and no one had spoken ill of her.
Albayalde on Monday said he had already ordered the Directorate for Information and Communication Technology Management (DICTM) to identify policemen who have spoken ill of him on Facebook page, Buhay Lespu (Life of a Policeman).
We note furthermore that in then five years of service to President Aquino, he has never spoken ill of the governance policies of the president, he added.