false light

noun

Legal Definition of false light

: an untrue or misleading portrayal unreasonably placed their family in a false light before the publicCantrell v. Forest City Publishing Co., 419 U.S. 245 (1974) also : an invasion of privacy tort that is based on injury to the victim's reputation by such a portrayal (as in a publication) — compare defamation, libel, slander

Note: The false light cause of action is not recognized in all jurisdictions. Where it is recognized, the misrepresentation creating the false light does not need to be defamatory, but it must be offensive or objectionable to a reasonable person and made with knowledge of its inaccuracy.

Learn More about false light

Cite this Entry

“False light.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/false%20light. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Comments on false light

What made you want to look up false light? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!