Definitions for: Libel


[n] a tort consisting of false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person
[v] make slanderous statements against; "The paper was accused of libeling him"



Webster (1913) Definition: Li"bel (l[imac]"b[e^]l), n. [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.]
1. A brief writing of any kind, esp. a declaration, bill,
certificate, request, supplication, etc. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

A libel of forsaking [divorcement]. --Wyclif
(Matt. v. 31).

2. Any defamatory writing; a lampoon; a satire.

3. (Law) 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.

Note: 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. (Law) The crime of issuing a malicious defamatory
publication.

5. (Civil Law & Courts of Admiralty) A written declaration or
statement by the plaintiff of his cause of action, and of
the relief he seeks.


Li"bel, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Libeled (-b[e^]ld) or
Libelled; p. pr. & vb. n. Libeling or Libelling.]
1. To defame, or expose to public hatred, contempt, or
ridicule, by a writing, picture, sign, etc.; to lampoon.

Some wicked wits have libeled all the fair. --Pope.

2. (Law) To proceed against by filing a libel, particularly
against a ship or goods.


Li"bel (l[imac]"b[e^]l), v. i.
To spread defamation, written or printed; -- with against.
[Obs.]

What's this but libeling against the senate? --Shak.

[He] libels now 'gainst each great man. --Donne.

See Also: asperse, besmirch, calumniate, calumny, civil wrong, defamation, defame, denigrate, hatchet job, obloquy, slander, smear, smirch, sully, tort, traducement

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