li-bel / lī-bəl
1. a published false statement or photo about someone, especially something harmful to his or her reputation; a slander
A man is angry at a libel because it is false, but at a satire because it is true.
Gilbert K. Chesterton, 1874 – 1936
2. the act or crime of publishing or broadcasting a degrading misrepresentation that is harmful to a reputation
Nobody has sued me for libel because I do not defame my enemies.
Lee Kuan Yew, 1923 – 2015
3. any defamatory representation or statement; any damaging or malicious misrepresentation
The Tories were in power, and he was a Whig, and he presently found himself expelled from the House of Commons for “uttering seditious libels.”
From “English Literature For Boys And Girls” by H. E. Marshall, 1867 – 1941
4. in certain courts, a plaintiff’s written statement that sets forth the cause of action and the remedies sought
If the basis of jurisdiction be a cause of action otherwise justiciable in admiralty, then, notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the party claiming to be aggrieved may begin his proceeding hereunder by libel and seizure of the vessel or other property of the other party according to the usual course of admiralty proceedings, and the court shall then have jurisdiction to direct the parties to proceed with the arbitration and shall retain jurisdiction to enter its decree upon the award.
9 U.S. Code § 8. Proceedings begun by libel in admiralty and seizure of vessel or property (July 30, 1947, ch. 392, 61 Stat. 672.)
1. to malign or tear down someone’s character by making malicious statements
The Bible urges us to be respectful to all people, especially people with whom we have disagreements, to never libel people, to never label people.
Max Lucado, 1955 –
2. to misrepresent, causing injury
There isn’t any way to libel the human race.
Mark Twain, 1835 – 1910
Originally the Middle French and Middle English word for little book or piece of writing and derived from the Latin masculine noun libellus, libelli (little book), the diminutive form of the Latin masculine noun liber, libri (book).
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.