Pronunciation Noun


  1. (countable) A written or pictorial false statement which unjustly seeks to damage someone's reputation.
  2. (uncountable) The act or crime of displaying such a statement publicly.
  3. (countable) Any defamatory writing; a lampoon; a satire.
  4. (law, countable) A written declaration or statement by the plaintiff of their cause of action, and of the relief they seek.
    • 1873, United States Supreme Court, The Rio Grande, 86 U.S. 178,179
      These provisions of law being in force, the steamer Rio Grande, owned, as was alleged, by persons in Mexico, being in the port of Mobile, in the Southern District of Alabama, certain materialmen, on the 26th of November, 1867, filed separate libels against her in the district court for the said district.
  5. (countable) A brief writing of any kind, especially a declaration, bill, certificate, request, supplication, etc.
    • 1382–1395, John Wycliffe et al. (translators), Matthew verse 31
      a libel of forsaking [divorcement]
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: libelo
  • Russian: жа́лоба
Translations Verb

libel (libels, present participle libelling; past and past participle libelled)

  1. (transitive) To defame someone, especially in a manner that meets the legal definition of libel.
    He libelled her when he published that.
    • 1709, Alexander Pope, January and May:
      Some wicked wits have libelled all the fair.
  2. (legal) To proceed against (a ship, goods, etc.) by filing a libel.
Synonyms Translations
  • German: (schriftlich) verleumden
  • Russian: клевета́ть

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