malign (verb) – speak bad things about someone/something: can be lies
maligned (adjective) – spoken in a bad things about someone/something: can be lies
You will see the adjective maligned often appear as oft-maligned. The oft means often. (It’s an old form of often that only appears in combinations in today’s English.)
malignly (adverb) – speaking in a bad things about someone/something: can be lies
Note: malignant is another adjective that looks very similar, but it means something else: malignant is evil.
Note 2: All words with mal in English have something to do with evil. Mal comes from Latin and means evil.
Chloe had maligned her alcoholic father so much that we expected some really bad character to meet us. In fact, he seemed rather nice.
In a bid to win the elections, candidates will often try to malign their opponents.
Communism has been maligned an awful lot, so that we often forget it started with some noble ideas.
The maligned tobacco industry defended itself by saying it was donating large sums of money to charity.
The oft-maligned pop star, who was photographed almost naked, was said to be a bad example for teens.
She said the article in the newspaper malignly described how she had taken bribes. She said those were lies, as she had never taken any bribes.