V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary
Definition: (n.) 1. a legal term for published material that is false and defamatory; 2. an attack on somebody's reputation; 3. in law, a written statement from a plaintiff; (v.) 1. to damage somebody's reputation by publishing false and malicious statements; 2. to attack somebody with the intent of damaging their reputation
Synonyms: (n.) lie, defamation, slander, smear, slur, (v.) vilify, defame, malign
Antonyms: (n.) praise, truth, flattery
Tips: The original meaning for libel was “written declaration,” and it later came to mean, “something setting out the grounds for a lawsuit.” It used to be that libel only applied to written works (like books), and the lesser charge of slander was the legal term for false and defamatory speech. With the popularity of television and radio, libel has been expanded to include any publicized work. Something described as libelous is defamatory or meant to damage a person's reputation. To be accurate, use libel to describe written defamation and slander to describe oral, verbal, spoken defamation.
After posting a nasty, online message about his employer, the man was surprised when he was sued for libel. (defamation) noun
His libelous article cost the man his job and the newspaper, millions. (defamatory, vilifying) adjective
The journalist's shoddy investigative skills lead the news station to be sued for libel when certain documents referred to in the story turned out to be forged. (defamation) noun
Celebrities often sue tabloid publications for libel when lies are printed about them. (slander, defamation) noun
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