canard (n)
an unfounded rumor or story. / a piece of news that is false and is told to people deliberately in order to harm someone
More Examples
In other words, the whole idea of globalization was a canard. A canard of anti-Semitism is that there is a secret group of powerful Jews running the country. The initial findings lay to rest a few canards. The Opposition raised the canard that some sort of register is required under the council tax. It is hardly necessary to dignify that vile canard by saying there is not a mote of truth to it.
About Word
During a political campaign, you will often hear on TV commercials some canard about the opponent. This is a false, deluding statement designed to confuse the voters, as it presents the other candidate in a bad light by spreading an untruth. The Old French word quanart, "duck," morphed into canard, as in "vendre un canard à moitié," which refers to "half-selling" a duck, or cheating someone, and the word came to mean something meant to fool someone deliberately. Poet James Whitcomb Riley said, "When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck." Not always the case with canard.
1840-50; < French: literally, duck; Old French quanart drake, orig. cackler, equivalent to can (er) to cackle (of expressive orig.) + -art -art, as in mallart drake; see mallard

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