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A false or slanderous story used for political advantage.

[After Baron von Roorback, invented author of the imaginary book Roorback's Tour Through the Western and Southern States, to whom Whig opponents of Democratic presidential candidate James K. Polk attributed a fabricated passage falsely stating that Polk branded his slaves in an attempt to discredit him during the 1844 presidential election campaigns (the passage was originally published in an Ithaca, New York, newspaper and was subsequently widely reproduced in the Whig press).]


US a false or distorted report or account, used to obtain political advantage
[C19: after Baron von Roorback, invented author of an imaginary Tour through the Western and Southern States (1844), which contained a passage defaming James K. Polk]



a false, damaging report circulated for political effect.
[1844, Amer.; after such a report, defaming James K. Polk, by a fictitious Baron von Roorback]


- A false report made to damage the reputation of a political candidate.
See also related terms for reputation.
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References in classic literature ?
The lawyer was brought,--a dapper, bustling, round-headed little man, Roorback (or Rollebuck, as it was pronounced) by name.
And if you think dirty politics are new, the story of roorback, a term defined as "a defamatory falsehood published for political effect," takes us back to campaign strategies of the mid-seventeenth century.