[lahy-buh-luh s]


containing, constituting, or involving a libel; maliciously defamatory.

Also especially British, li·bel·lous.

Origin of libelous

First recorded in 1610–20; libel + -ous
Related formsli·bel·ous·ly; especially British, li·bel·lous·ly, adverbnon·li·bel·ous, adjectivenon·li·bel·ous·ly, adverbun·li·bel·lous, adjectiveun·li·bel·lous·ly, adverbun·li·bel·ous, adjectiveun·li·bel·ous·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for libelous

Historical Examples of libelous

  • 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.


    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

Word Origin and History for libelous

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper