Definition of Libel

1. Noun. A false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person.

Category relationships: Civil Wrong, Tort, Jurisprudence, Law
Generic synonyms: Calumniation, Calumny, Defamation, Hatchet Job, Obloquy, Traducement
Derivative terms: Libellous, Libelous

2. Verb. Print slanderous statements against. "The newspaper was accused of libeling him"
Generic synonyms: Asperse, Besmirch, Calumniate, Defame, Denigrate, Slander, Smear, Smirch, Sully
Derivative terms: Libeler

3. Noun. The written statement of a plaintiff explaining the cause of action (the defamation) and any relief he seeks.
Generic synonyms: Complaint
Category relationships: Jurisprudence, Law

Definition of Libel

1. n. A brief writing of any kind, esp. a declaration, bill, certificate, request, supplication, etc.

2. v. t. To defame, or expose to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule, by a writing, picture, sign, etc.; to lampoon.

3. v. i. To spread defamation, written or printed; -- with against.

Definition of Libel

1. Noun. A written (notably as handbill) or pictorial statement which unjustly seeks to damage someone's reputation. ¹

2. Noun. The act or crime of displaying such a statement publicly. ¹

3. Verb. (transitive) To defame someone, especially in a manner that meets the legal definition of libel. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Libel

1. to make or publish a defamatory statement about [v -BELED, -BELING, -BELS or -BELLED, -BELLING, -BELS]

Medical Definition of Libel

1. 1. A brief writing of any kind, especially. A declaration, bill, certificate, request, supplication, etc. "A libel of forsaking [divorcement]" (Wyclif (Matt. V. 31)) 2. Any defamatory writing; a lampoon; a satire. 3. A malicious publication expressed either in print or in writing, or by pictures, effigies, or other signs, tending to expose another to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule. Such publication is indictable at common law. The term, in a more extended sense, includes the publication of such writings, pictures, and the like, as are of a blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene character. These also are indictable at common law. 4. The crime of issuing a malicious defamatory publication. 5. A written declaration or statement by the plaintiff of his cause of action, and of the relief he seeks. Origin: L. Libellus a little book, pamphlet, libel, lampoon, dim. Of liber the liber or inner bark of a tree; also (because the ancients wrote on this bark), paper, parchment, or a roll of any material used to write upon, and hence, a book or treatise: cf. F. Libelle. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Libel Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Libel

libbard's bane
libel (current term)
libel tourism

Literary usage of Libel

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. South Eastern Reporter by West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, West Publishing Company, South Carolina Supreme Court (1912)
"The declaration in libel alleged that defendant published an article headed "S. and L. ... For other cases, see libel and Slander, Cent Dig. § 148; Dec. ..."

2. United States Supreme Court Reports by Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company, United States Supreme Court (1912)
"The libel in this case was filed in the district court of the United States for ... On the 9th of March, 1807, the appellees filed the libel in the district ..."

3. English Constitutional History from the Teutonic Conquest to the Present Time by Thomas Pitt Taswell-Langmead (1905)
"Lord Campbell's libel Act, 1843. new trial. Miller and other printers who were subsequently tried (or printing the same letter were boldly declared by the ..."

4. The Annual Register, Or, A View of the History, Politics, and Literature for by Edmund Burke (1831)
"another, for a libel on the King and Constitution, Mr. Justice As- hurst and his ... In 1801—Allen Macleod, for a libel on lord Clare, Lord Chancellor ..."

5. Commentaries on the Laws of England by Herbert Broom, Edward Alfred Hadley, William Wait, William Blackstone (1875)
"(677) The direct tendency of a libel is to induce a breach of the the atat. ... (677) libel is an indictable offense at common law in the United States, ..."

6. Dictionary of National Biography by LESLIE. STEPHEN (1894)
"Mansfield reaffirmed his doctrine of the respective functions of judge and jury in cases of libeL That the doctrine itself was strictly in accn with ..."

7. A Treatise on the Law of Evidence by Simon Greenleaf (1853)
"But they must understand it so from the libel itself; ... By the common law, as held in England, the truth of the libel was not a jus- 1 2 Stark, ..."

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