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canard (noun) a false report or false news.
A false report or a false piece of news spread intentionally to create a bad impression about somebody is a canard. It is common in politics for rivals to carry false reports or false news against one another to damage their reputation. Such a false report or news is a canard. 'Charles is doing his best to defend himself against the canard, but the damage has already been done.' This means, Charles wants to correct the bad impression created by the false reports about him, but it is now too late.
- The leader was struggling hard to explain that the news of his having served a jail term was just a canard; and that the report was baseless, calculated to lower his reputation.
- Humphrey challenged the authors of the canard of tax evasion against him to prove that it was not a canard, but a fact, failing which he would sue them for damages.