libel

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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.
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None of the libellers seem to have been able to write, since in order to commit their message to paper, and so give it maximum publicity, they sought the services of three travelling tradesmen from Coventry, Lancelot Ratsey, Alexander Staples and William Hickman, who happened to be lodging at the Swan.
And yet, Steele vows to "punish" libelers and Addison considers himself in a "Natural State of War with the Libeller and Lampooner." These unvarnished declarations of intent suggest that while the objects may differ, the satirist is, in some instances, still the person who delivers an attack.
Citizens' bodies such as fair campaign practices committees should be encouraged to pronounce on libels and to pursue libellers in courts and in the media in order to nail their lies to the counters.
that libellers shall be protected from punishment").
The court of star chamber in England, once exercised the power of cutting off the ears, branding the foreheads, and slitting the noses of the libellers of important personages.
The main obsessions of the antiMorisco libellers (Bleda, Aznar, Fonseca) who "justified" the expulsion of 1609, are revealed by the use of words such as "rabbits," "ants," "mice," "termites," "apes," "toads" and "bloodsuckers" to describe the Morisco community.
He remained in London on the fringes of an expatriate community that included other thorns in Versailles's side: libellers publishing (or threatening to publish) licentious and fictitious 'memoirs' purportedly penned by French royal mistresses.
Sherriff (2005), Anonymity no protection for online libellers. (The Register 24th March 2005) http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/24/motley_ruling/
In his parody of libellers Swift had satirically countered the charge of atheistic misanthropy: