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[lahy-buh-luh s] /ˈlaɪ bə ləs/
containing, constituting, or involving a libel; maliciously defamatory.
Also, especially British, libellous.
Origin of libelous
First recorded in 1610-20; libel + -ous
Related forms
libelously; especially British, libellously, adverb
nonlibelous, adjective
nonlibelously, adverb
unlibellous, adjective
unlibellously, adverb
unlibelous, adjective
unlibelously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for libelous
Historical Examples
  • Would the editors of the Commune do anything about the base, libelous article?

  • No, indeed, slander and libelous talk are not necessary ingredients of gossip.

    Conversation Mary Greer Conklin
  • Bathori's reign was not, however, free from libelous attacks on the Jews.

  • Again the country newspapers were filled with libelous paragraphs.

    James Fenimore Cooper Thomas R. Lounsbury
  • Before you started that song, you dreamed things about the Martian Development Corporation that were libelous!

    Star Performer Robert J. Shea
  • The alleged oath is scurrilous, wicked and libelous and must be the invention of an impious and venomous mind.

    The Modern Ku Klux Klan Henry Peck Fry
  • It is not half so libelous as that of the Commercial which appeared four days before, and which has been given in these pages.

    Southern Horrors Ida B. Wells-Barnett
  • Yet this libelous production was reprinted as late as Eighteen Hundred Ninety.

  • Who was the libelous wretch who said that the flowers of California had no perfume and the birds there had no song?

    Roughing it De Luxe Irvin S. Cobb
  • In his youth he was suspended from college, and when he was a very old man he was fined $5,000 for writing a libelous article.

Word Origin and History for libelous

also libellous, 1610s, from libel (n.) + -ous. Related: Libelously; libelousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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