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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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



a false, damaging report circulated for political effect.
[1844, Amer.; after such a report, defaming James K. Polk, by a fictitious Baron von Roorback]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


- A false report made to damage the reputation of a political candidate.
See also related terms for reputation.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
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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.
Roorback sees Andreas Kisser, Derrick Green and Co deliver a trademark collection of no-frills, angst-fuelled rock following three sell-out gigs at London's Camden Underworld earlier this year.