- The definition of libel is a written and published false statement about someone that damages their reputation.
An example of libel is when someone publishes in the newspaper that you are a thief, even though this is false.
- To libel is defined as to make and publish a false and malicious statement about someone in writing that damages the person's reputation.
When you write an article in the newspaper about someone being a thief, even though it is not true, this is an example of libel.
libel definition by Webster's New World
- any false and malicious written or printed statement, or any sign, picture, or effigy, tending to expose a person to public ridicule, hatred, or contempt or to injure a person's reputation in any way
- the act of publishing or displaying publicly such a thing
- anything that gives an unflattering or damaging picture of the subject with which it is dealing
- in ecclesiastical law and formerly in maritime law, a written statement containing the plaintiff's grievances; initial pleading
Origin: Middle English little book ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin libellus, little book, writing, lampoon, diminutive of liber, a book: see library
libel definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.b. The act of presenting such material to the public.
- The written claims presented by a plaintiff in an action at admiralty law or to an ecclesiastical court.
Origin: Middle English, litigant's written complaint, from Old French, from Latin libellus, diminutive of liber, book.
- liˈbel·er, liˈbel·ist noun
libel - Business Definition
libel - Cultural 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 (see also First Amendment).
libel - Legal Definition
- A false and defamatory statement expressed in writing or in an electronic medium.
- The first document or pleading filed in an admiralty action, which is now called a complaint.