(Latin: detrahere, to take away)

Unjust damaging of another's good name by the revelation of some fault or crime of which that other is guilty or believed to be guilty by the defamer. The detractor's guilt varies with the damage done. He is bound to restitution of the defamed's violated rights. For just reasons one may lawfully divulge another's offenses, but only to prudent persons and for the purpose of preventing evil to the guilty party or others.

New Catholic Dictionary

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