libel


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

libel

[lī′bəl]
Etymology: L, libellus, little book
a false accusation written, printed, or typewritten, or presented in a picture or a sign that is made with malicious intent to defame the reputation of a person who is living or the memory of a person who is dead, resulting in public embarrassment, contempt, ridicule, or hatred.

libel

(lī′bĕl) [L. libellus, little book, pamphlet]
Defaming the character of another by means of the written word. To qualify legally as libel, written communication must intentionally impugn the reputation of another person and be both malicious and demonstrably false.

libel (lī´bəl),

n 1. that which is written and published in order to injure the character of another by ridicule or contempt.
2. a defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures, or signs.
References in classic literature ?
in the third voyage the cynical contempt is unspeakably painful, and from the distorted libel on mankind in the
Those who have sufficient power usually imprison or put to death any one who tries to shake their faith in their own excellence or in that of the universe; it is for this reason that seditious libel and blasphemy have always been, and still are, criminal offences.
Being indicted for the libel, and (after various strange demonstrations in court) found guilty, he fled into Holland in place of appearing to receive sentence: from whence, as the quiet burgomasters of Amsterdam had no relish for his company, he was sent home again with all speed.
If he were really not in the habit of drinking rather more than was exactly good for him, he might have brought action against his countenance for libel, and have recovered heavy damages.
Pickwick, he detailed the malicious libel of the Eatanswill INDEPENDENT, and the consequent excitement of their friend, the editor.
But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law--and there lie the glory and the wonder of it
Tell them of cruel scourgings, of mutilations and brandings, of scenes of pollution and blood, of the banishment of all light and knowl- edge, and they affect to be greatly indignant at such enormous exaggerations, such wholesale misstate- ments, such abominable libels on the character of the southern planters
There were a great many bundles of papers on it, some endorsed as Allegations, and some (to my surprise) as Libels, and some as being in the Consistory Court, and some in the Arches Court, and some in the Prerogative Court, and some in the Admiralty Court, and some in the Delegates' Court; giving me occasion to wonder much, how many Courts there might be in the gross, and how long it would take to understand them all.
If a man hits you, hit him back; if a man libels you, haul him up.
The Tories were in power, and he was a Whig, and he presently found himself expelled from the House of Commons for "uttering seditious libels.
He works in his parish with the most noble self-devotion, and never loses courage, although his efforts have been several times rewarded by disgusting libels pasted up on the street-corners, thrown under doors, and even fastened to his own garden wall.
Send forth the child and childish man together, and blush for the pride that libels our own old happy state, and gives its title to an ugly and distorted image.