libel

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English libel, from Old French libelle, from Latin libellus (petition, literally booklet).

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: līʹbəl, IPA(key): /ˈlaɪbəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪbəl

Noun[edit]

libel (countable and uncountable, plural libels)

  1. (countable) A written or pictorial false statement which unjustly seeks to damage someone's reputation.
    • 2002, Spider-Man:
      Peter Parker: Spider-Man wasn't trying to attack the city, he was trying to save it. That's slander.

      J. Jonah Jameson: It is not! I resent that! Slander is spoken. In print, it's libel.

  2. (uncountable) The act or tort 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.
    a libel of forsaking [divorcement]

Usage notes[edit]

In common usage, the noun and verb is particularly used where the defamatory writing meets the legal definition of libel in a particular jurisdiction.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

libel (third-person singular simple present libels, present participle (UK) libelling or (US) libeling, simple past and past participle (UK) libelled or (US) libeled) (transitive, law)

  1. To defame (someone), especially in a manner that meets the legal definition of libel.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:defame
    He libelled her when he published that.
  2. To proceed against (goods, a ship, etc.) by filing a libel claim.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /liˈbɛl/
  • Hyphenation: li‧bel
  • Rhymes: -ɛl

Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Latin libella or libellula.

Noun[edit]

libel f (plural libellen, diminutive libelletje n)

  1. dragonfly, insect of the infraorder Anisoptera
  2. dragonfly or damselfly, insect of the order Odonata
Alternative forms[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Lokono: bibiri

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin libellus, diminutive of liber (book).

Noun[edit]

libel n (plural libellen, diminutive libelletje n)

  1. booklet, notably a libel (defamatory writing)
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Borrowed from Latin libella.

Noun[edit]

libel f (plural libellen, diminutive libelletje n)

  1. A vial of a level.

References[edit]

  • M. J. Koenen & J. Endepols, Verklarend Handwoordenboek der Nederlandse Taal (tevens Vreemde-woordentolk), Groningen, Wolters-Noordhoff, 1969 (26th edition) [Dutch dictionary in Dutch]

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Ultimately from Latin libellus (little book).

Noun[edit]

libel

  1. Any short and formal written text
    1. (law) A litigant's statement of complaint, or list of charges
      • 1387–1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Freres Tale”, in The Canterbury Tales, [Westminster: William Caxton, published 1478], →OCLC; republished in [William Thynne], editor, The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed, [], [London]: [] [Richard Grafton for] Iohn Reynes [], 1542, →OCLC, folio xliiii, verso, column 1:
        I haue ȹ he, of ſommõs of the here a byl / Up payne of curſyng loke that thou be / To moꝛowe befoꝛe our Archdeacons kne [...] Now loꝛde ȹ ſhe, Jeſu kyng of kynges / So wiſely helpe me, as I ne may [...] May I nat aſke a lybel ſyꝛ Sompnour / And anſwere there by my pꝛoctour / To ſuche thyng as men wolde appoſen me?
        I have (he said) a bill of summons here: / On pain of excommunication make sure that you appear / Tomorrow morning at the archdeacon's knee [...] Now Lord (she said) Jesus king of kings / Help me, as I cannot [...] Could I ask for a copy of the charges, sir summoner, / And have my proctor appear for me / For whatever it is that I am accused of?
    2. Any written formal complaint, particularly in marital conflicts
      • c. 1382–1395, John Wycliffe [et al.], edited by Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden, The Holy Bible, [], volume IV, Oxford: At the University Press, published 1850, →OCLC, Matthew V:31–32, page 12:
        And it hath be seyd, Who euere leeueth his wijf, ȝyue he to hir a libel of forsakying. But Y seie to ȝou, that euery man that leeueth his wijf, outtakun cause of fornycacion, makith hir to do letcherie, and he that weddith the forsaken wijf, doith auowtrye.
        [ KJV ] It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
    3. A treatise; a division of a larger work.