- defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.
- the act or crime of publishing it.
- a formal written declaration or statement, as one containing the allegations of a plaintiff or the grounds of a charge.
verb (used with object), li·beled, li·bel·ing or (especially British) li·belled, li·bel·ling.
Origin of libel
Related Words for libeldefamation, defame, obloquy, aspersion, smear, denigration, lying, calumny, vituperation, blister, derogate, caricature, traduce, scandalize, knock, slur, roast, asperse, mark, burlesque
Examples from the Web for libel
Contemporary Examples of libel
A libel suit reverses the roles of plaintiff and defendant; the former must defend itself against the latter's charges.The 'Defenders of Zionism' Lose Their Case
September 9, 2013
Yitzhar spokesman says the settlement 'has won a number of libel suits against media groups and the Israel Police.'Slim Majority Of Israelis Would Support Peace Deal Referendum
July 24, 2013
According to Dershowitz, Corey called Harvard Law School and threatened to sue to the school for libel for his comments.Who Is Angela Corey? From Being Fired to Prosecuting Zimmerman
July 15, 2013
The bill aims to protect the IDF from libel by Israel detractors.Jerusalem 'Price Taggers' Damage Jewish, Arab Cars
May 24, 2013
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is on the rampage again, suing a Wall Street Journal reporter for libel.Sheldon Adelson, the Billionaire Who Bankrupted Me
John L. Smith
February 28, 2013
Historical Examples of libel
The whole scene is a libel upon Cleopatra and upon womanhood.The Man Shakespeare
Do you now want to libel him, and say that he's marrying you for your money?The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
But a writer should remember that there is no law of libel to protect a nation.One Day's Courtship
He would sue the Argus for libel, which, by the way, he never did.
You might sue us for libel, if you thought we had treated you badly.
- the publication of defamatory matter in permanent form, as by a written or printed statement, picture, etc
- the act of publishing such matter
verb -bels, -belling or -belled or US -bels, -beling or -beled (tr)
Word Origin for libel
c.1300, "formal written statement," especially, in civil law, "plaintiff's statement of charges" (mid-14c.); from Old French libelle (fem.) "small book; (legal) charge, claim; writ; written report" (13c.), from Latin libellus "a little book, pamphlet; petition, written accusation, complaint," diminutive of liber "book" (see library). Broader sense of "any published or written statement likely to harm a person's reputation" is first attested 1630s.
mid-15c., "make an initial statement setting out a plaintiff's case" (modern sense from 1560s), from libel (n.), q.v. for sense development. Related: Libeled; libelled; libeling; libelling.