libel, slander

libel, slander
 Although nearly all dictionaries define libel merely as a statement that defames or damages a person’s reputation, it is worth remembering that it must do so unreasonably or inaccurately. It is the wrongness of a contention that makes it libelous, not the harshness or hostility of it. Although a libel usually takes the form of a written utterance, drawings and other visual depictions may also be libelous. In all cases, a libel must be published (the word comes from the Latin libellus, meaning "little book"). When defamatory remarks are merely spoken, the term to describe the act is slander.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

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  • libel slander —    Although nearly all dictionaries define libel merely as a statement that defames a person or damages his or her reputation, it is worth remembering that it must do so unreasonably or inaccurately. It is the wrongness of a contention that makes …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • libel — li·bel 1 / lī bəl/ n [Anglo French, from Latin libellus, diminutive of liber book] 1: complaint (1) used esp. in admiralty and divorce cases 2 a: a defamatory statement or representation esp. in the form of written or printed words; specif: a… …   Law dictionary

  • slander — slan·der 1 / slan dər/ vt: to utter slander against slan·der·er n slander 2 n [Anglo French esclandre, from Old French escandle esclandre scandal, from Late Latin scandalum moral stumbling block, disgrace, from Greek skandalon, literally, snare,… …   Law dictionary

  • slander — libel, slander 1. Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person s reputation, whereas slander is a malicious false statement that is spoken about a person. In popular usage the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but the …   Modern English usage

  • libel — libel, slander 1. Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person s reputation, whereas slander is a malicious false statement that is spoken about a person. In popular usage the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but the …   Modern English usage

  • libel per se — / pər sē, per sā/ n: libel that is actionable without the plaintiff introducing additional facts to show defamation or claiming special damages Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. libel per se …   Law dictionary

  • Libel — • A malicious publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, sign, or otherwise than by mere speech, which exposes any living person, or the memory of any person deceased, to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or which causes or tends to …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • libel and slander — Two torts (See tort law) that involve the communication of false information about a person, a group, or an entity such as a corporation. Libel is any defamation that can be seen, such as a writing, printing, effigy, movie, or statue. Slander is… …   Law dictionary

  • libel — Ⅰ. libel UK US /ˈlaɪbəl/ noun [C or U] LAW ► something written or published that makes false or unfair statements that are likely to damage the reputation of a person or organization: libel suit/lawsuit »They filed a libel lawsuit against the… …   Financial and business terms

  • slander — [n] scandalous remark aspersion, backbiting*, backstabbing*, belittlement, black eye*, calumny, defamation, depreciation, detraction, dirt*, dirty linen*, disparagement, hit*, libel, lie, misrepresentation, muckraking, mud*, mud slinging*,… …   New thesaurus

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