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a. The legally indefensible publication or broadcast of words or images that are degrading to a person or injurious to his or her reputation.
b. An incidence of such publication or broadcast.
2. The written claims initiating a suit in an admiralty court.
tr.v. li·beled, li·bel·ing, li·bels or li·belled or li·bel·ling
To publish or broadcast a libel about (a person). See Synonyms at malign.
[Middle English, litigant's written complaint, from Old French, from Latin libellus, diminutive of liber, book.]
li′bel·er, li′bel·ist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.