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.
anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents.
verb (used with object), libeled, libeling or (especially British) libelled, libelling.
to publish a libel against.
to misrepresent damagingly.
to institute suit against by a libel, as in an admiralty court.

1250–1300; Middle English: little book, formal document, especially plaintiff's statement < Latin libellus, diminutive of liber book; for formation, see castellum

interlibel, verb (used with object), interlibeled, interlibeling or (especially British) interlibelled, interlibelling.
unlibeled, adjective
unlibelled, adjective

1. liable, libel ; 2. defamation, libel, slander ; 3. defame, libel, slander. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To libelling
World English Dictionary
libel (ˈlaɪbəl)
1.  law
 a.  the publication of defamatory matter in permanent form, as by a written or printed statement, picture, etc
 b.  the act of publishing such matter
2.  any defamatory or unflattering representation or statement
3.  ecclesiastical law a claimant's written statement of claim
4.  Scots law the formal statement of a charge
vb , -bels, -belling, -belled, -bels, -beling, -beled
5.  law to make or publish a defamatory statement or representation about (a person)
6.  to misrepresent injuriously
7.  ecclesiastical law to bring an action against (a person) in the ecclesiastical courts
[C13 (in the sense: written statement), hence C14 legal sense: a plaintiff's statement, via Old French from Latin libellus a little book, from liber a book]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1300, "formal written statement," especially, in civil law, "plaintiff's statement of charges" (mid-14c.); from O.Fr. libelle (fem.), from L. libellus "a little book, petition," dim. of liber "book" (see library). Broader sense of "any published or written statement likely
to harm a person's reputation" is first attested 1630s. The verb is c.1570, from the noun. Related: Libelous; libellous.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

libel definition

A written, printed, or pictorial statement that unjustly defames someone publicly. Prosecution of libel as a punishable offense puts some measure of restriction on freedom of the press under the First Amendment.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature