• WordNet 3.6
    • v libel print slanderous statements against "The newspaper was accused of libeling him"
    • n libel the written statement of a plaintiff explaining the cause of action (the defamation) and any relief he seeks
    • n libel a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Libel A brief writing of any kind, esp. a declaration, bill, certificate, request, supplication, etc. "A libel of forsaking [divorcement]."
    • Libel (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.
    • Libel (Civil Law & Courts of Admiralty) A written declaration or statement by the plaintiff of his cause of action, and of the relief he seeks.
    • Libel Any defamatory writing; a lampoon; a satire.
    • Libel (Law) The crime of issuing a malicious defamatory publication.
    • Libel 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."
    • Libel (Law) To proceed against by filing a libel, particularly against a ship or goods.
    • v. i Libel lī"bĕl To spread defamation, written or printed; -- with against. "What's this but libeling against the senate?""He libels now 'gainst each great man."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n libel A writing of any kind; a written declaration or certificate.
    • n libel In admiralty law, Scots law, and English ecclesiastical law, a writing or document instituting a suit and containing the plaintiff's allegations.
    • n libel A lampoon.
    • n libel A defamatory writing made public; a malicious and injurious publication, expressed in printing or writing, or by signs or pictures, tending either to injure the memory of one dead or the reputation of one alive, and to expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule.
    • n libel The crime of publishing a libel: as, he was guilty of libel.
    • n libel In general, defamation; a defamatory remark or act; malicious misrepresentation in conversation or otherwise; anything intended or which tends to bring a person or thing into disrepute.
    • n libel Synonyms See asperse and lampoon.
    • libel In admiralty law, Scots law, and English ecclesiastical law, to serve a libel upon; institute suit against; present a formal charge against for trial, as against a clergyman for conduct unbecoming his office, or against a ship or goods for a violation of the laws of trade or revenue. See libel, n., 2.
    • libel To defame or expose to public hatred or contempt by a malicious and injurious publication, as a writing, picture, or the like; lampoon.
    • libel Synonyms Defame, Calumniate, etc. See asperse.
    • libel To spread defamation, written or printed: with against.
    • n libel In law, a petition for a decree in divorce.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Libel lī′bel a written accusation: any malicious defamatory publication or statement:
    • v.t Libel to defame by a libel: to satirise unfairly:
    • n Libel lī′bel (law) the statement of a plaintiff's grounds of complaint against a defendant
    • v.t Libel (law) to proceed against by producing a written complaint:—pr.p. lī′belling; pa.t. and pa.p. lī′belled
    • ***


  • James Thurber
    “The only rules comedy can tolerate are those of taste, and the only limitations those of libel.”
  • Lord Ellenborough
    Lord Ellenborough
    “The greater the truth the greater the libel.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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,


In literature:

The want of it is a libel upon her sex.
"The Christian Home" by Samuel Philips
It is a libel on the French people to suppose that a truly national impulse in his favour would have vanished with a single defeat.
"The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2)" by John Holland Rose
Hawkins's favourite pastime was libelling the dead.
"Purcell" by John F. Runciman
And Miss D'Alloi will tell you that the papers calling me 'Taciturnity Junior' is a libel.
"The Honorable Peter Stirling and What People Thought of Him" by Paul Leicester Ford
This was one libel in a long series of complimentary productions.
"Unleavened Bread" by Robert Grant
Lord B. feared libels and licentiousness.
"Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6)" by Thomas Moore
People were determined that no such libel should be heaped on human nature.
"Outwitting Our Nerves" by Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury
Just about this time there was a libel current that he made a favourite of Edgar Doe because he was pretty.
"Tell England" by Ernest Raymond
She talk of political slander, and libel, and disgrace, and all that.
"David Lockwin--The People's Idol" by John McGovern
What is the rule of the common law in the case of a criminal action for libel?
"The Government Class Book" by Andrew W. Young

In poetry:

Both libel and slander are common,
---- and daggered rhyme
Tho’ beauty has magical power,
E’en beauty is conquered by time.
"The Misanthrope's Reverie" by Joseph Warren Watson
But sadder to see, and sadder to hear,
A mother—that name should be sacred and dear—
A drunkard, a libel on true womankind;
How chuckles the demon such votaries to find!
"The Demon Drink!" by Janet Hamilton
Yet heaven and earth were stirred, regions beneath
Were moved t' avert the proven murderer's doom;
Sensation journals, libellous in their wrath
'Gainst law and justice, foam, and rave, and fume.
"Dirge For Jessie Macpherson" by Janet Hamilton
Too womanly sweet, too womanly frail,
Alone in thy faith and thy need;
In the homeless home, in the poisonous air
Of spite and libel and greed;
Mid perfidy's net thy pathway is set,
And thy feet in the pitfalls bleed.
"Crossing Solway" by Francis Turner Palgrave

In news:

Closing arguments in Ford libel trial zero in on what's ' fair comment.
Laurie Fine files libel lawsuit against ESPN in Syracuse Federal Court .
Mayor Rob Ford says he felt bullies' sting growing up being called fat, declines to discuss libel trial.
I taly's Senate has killed a proposed law that was hotly contested for maintaining a jail penalty against journalists convicted of libel , while imposing only fines for their editors.
ROME—Italy's Senate has killed a proposed law that was hotly contested for maintaining a jail penalty against journalists convicted of libel , while imposing only fines for their editors.
ROME (AP) — Italy's Senate has killed a proposed law that was hotly contested for maintaining a jail penalty against journalists convicted of libel , while imposing only fines for their editors.
Philippines Court Hears 'Facebook Libel ' Case.
Libel Case That Snared BBC Widens to Twitter.
Texas Supreme Court overturns Brownsville libel lawsuit.
Olam has launched a libel suit against Muddy Waters and its founder, Carson Block.
Network ITV Faces Libel Suit for up to $795,000 (Report).
Ex-Politician Reaches Settlement With BBC Over Libel Claim.
BBC Settles Libel Case Over Mistaken Report That Forced Out Top Executive.
BBC settles libel claim in child abuse story.
Tucson News NowBBC settles libel suit from wronged politician.