Libel is the act of publishing a statement about someone that is not true and that gives a bad impression about the person.

Libel is usually contrasted with slander, which refers to a spoken statement that is not true. Both libel and slander are used in legal contexts. In Middle English, libel referred to a written declaration, from Anglo-French, from Latin libellus, from liber "book."

Definitions of libel

n a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person

Type of:
calumniation, calumny, defamation, hatchet job, obloquy, traducement
a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions

n the written statement of a plaintiff explaining the cause of action (the defamation) and any relief he seeks

Type of:
(civil law) the first pleading of the plaintiff setting out the facts on which the claim for relief is based

v print slanderous statements against

“The newspaper was accused of libeling him”
Type of:
asperse, besmirch, calumniate, defame, denigrate, slander, smear, smirch, sully
charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

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