Essential Meaning of libel
: the act of publishing a false statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone He sued the newspaper for libel. The newspaper was found guilty of libel. The newspaper's attorneys argued that the article was not a libel.
Full Definition of libel
(Entry 1 of 2)
1a : a written statement in which a plaintiff in certain courts sets forth the cause of action or the relief sought
b archaic : a handbill especially attacking or defaming someone
2a : a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression
b(1) : a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt
(2) : defamation of a person by written or representational means
(3) : the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures
(4) : the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel
Definition of libel (Entry 2 of 2)
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