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libel


The newspaper was accused of libeling him
  a false and malicious publication about a person
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libel libeling libels libeled libelled libelling libellee libeler
Strongly Associated with:   defame, slander
Notes:
The legal distinction between libel and slander is that libel is an oral offense while slander is written or published.
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Samples:
  • The newspaper was accused of libeling him
  • In a landmark ruling, New York Times v. Sullivan changed the standard for defamation and libel by requiring plaintiffs to prove malice—that is, evidence of actual knowledge on the part of the publisher that a statement is false.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • I’ll be caught for libel and killed….
    Michael Ondaatje  --  Running in the Family
  • Rumors circulated that emaciated Jews returning from the camps were using gentile children’s blood for transfusions, a revival of the ancient accusation known as blood libel.
    Leon Leyson  --  The Boy on the Wooden Box

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  • You’ve perpetrated a near libel here in the front yard.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • It’s libel.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • He’d also been convicted of fraud for a scam in which he got an obituary of himself published, then sued the newspaper for libel and damages up to $100 million.
    Rebecca Skloot  --  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • It was an exceptionally outrageous case of libel, he said.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • He thought that men had been willing to work for him when he plugged known crooks for municipal elections, when he glamorized red-light districts, when he ruined reputations by scandalous libel, when he sobbed over the mothers of gangsters.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • If he were really not in the habit of drinking rather more than was exactly good for him, he might have brought action against his countenance for libel, and have recovered heavy damages.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist

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  • You’ve heard it wrong; it’s a libel.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  Crime and Punishment
  • Tell them of cruel scourgings, of mutilations and brandings, of scenes of pollution and blood, of the banishment of all light and knowledge, and they affect to be greatly indignant at such enormous exaggerations, such wholesale misstatements, such abominable libels on the character of the southern planters!
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • "If you mean libel, I’d say so, and not talk about labels, as if Papa was a pickle bottle," advised Jo, laughing.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • What a libel upon the heavenly Father, who "made of one blood all nations of men!"
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • He’s in there now with his lawbooks finding out the law of libel.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Oh, I thought they had been libelling me to you.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • —A libel on Ireland!
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • But as I had feared, Miss Kenton had read of the unsuccessful libel action, and inevitably, took the opportunity to probe me a little.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • It’s a fact that I did play with them, but it’s a perfect libel to say I did it for my own amusement.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • Yet, so far have you been from answering my expectation in any of your letters; that on the contrary you are loading our carrier every week with libels, and keys, and reflections, and memoirs, and second parts; wherein I see myself accused of reflecting upon great state folk; of degrading human nature (for so they have still the confidence to style it), and of abusing the female sex.
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver’s Travels
  • And her parties, and their vigorous libel actions against national newspapers.
    Ian McEwan  --  Atonement
  • She’s a libel on the entire sex.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • In the conduct of my newspaper, I carefully excluded all libelling and personal abuse, which is of late years become so disgraceful to our country.
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • …Sacripante or Roland had been poets they would have given the damsel a trimming; for it is naturally the way with poets who have been scorned and rejected by their ladies, whether fictitious or not, in short by those whom they select as the ladies of their thoughts, to avenge themselves in satires and libels—a vengeance, to be sure, unworthy of generous hearts; but up to the present I have not heard of any defamatory verse against the Lady Angelica, who turned the world upside down.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • It is not pretended that these laws and customs existed in England in the sixth century; no, it is only pretended that inasmuch as they existed in the English and other civilizations of far later times, it is safe to consider that it is no libel upon the sixth century to suppose them to have been in practice in that day also.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  • I say, the most ungentlemanly trick a man can be guilty of is to come among the members of his profession with innovations which are a libel on their time-honored procedure.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • To some extent he had attempted to shrug off his attackers, stating that he had expected to be libeled and abused, particularly by the Abolitionists and intellectuals who had previously scorned him, much as George Washington and others before him had been abused.
    John F. Kennedy  --  Profiles in Courage
  • The fellows used to say he was the "Iron Mask;" and poor George Pons went to his grave in the belief that this was the author of "Junius," who was being punished for his celebrated libel on Thomas Jefferson.
    Edward E. Hale  --  The Man Without a Country
  • He had been convicted of libel and spent two months in prison, his professional career as a journalist had been in the gutter, and he had resigned from his position as publisher of the magazine Millennium more or less in disgrace.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • What shall we say of that man — that working-man, that I should find it necessary so to libel the glorious name — who, being practically and well acquainted with the grievances and wrongs of you, the injured pith and marrow of this land, and having heard you, with a noble and majestic unanimity that will make Tyrants tremble, resolve for to subscribe to the funds of the United Aggregate Tribunal, and to abide by the injunctions issued by that body for your benefit, whatever they may be…
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • One worthy, he has reason to believe, has actually consulted authorities learned in the law, as to his having good grounds on which to rest an action for libel; another, has meditated a journey to London, for the express purpose of committing an assault and battery on his traducer; a third, perfectly remembers being waited on, last January twelve-month, by two gentlemen, one of whom held him in conversation while the other took his likeness; and, although Mr. Squeers has but one eye,…
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Call him liar and thief; and he will only take an action against you for libel.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • If a man hits you, hit him back; if a man libels you, haul him up.
    Henry James  --  The American
  • If necessary he would deny that he had ever known Mrs. Bast, and prosecute her for libel.
    E.M. Forster  --  Howards End
  • He signed an agreement saying he wouldn’t talk to the press and he’s libeled me by saying I’ve faked the figures.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • I’m suing your wife for libel, and that one I’ll win for sure.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • ROPER For libel; he’s a spy.
    Robert Bolt  --  A Man for All Seasons
  • Morris and Steel were found to have libeled McDonald’s.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
  • He, Adams, had been held up to ridicule in one newspaper after another for his meanness (the New Haven Gazette had called him an "unprincipled libeler"), his love of monarchy, his antipathy to freedom.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • The Speech if it may be called one, is nothing better than a wilful audacious libel against the truth, the common good, and the existence of mankind; and is a formal and pompous method of offering up human sacrifices to the pride of tyrants.
    Thomas Paine  --  Common Sense
  • He had worked part-time at the magazine for four years, and during that time the team had weathered some phenomenal storms, especially during the period when Blomkvist was serving a three-month sentence for libel and the magazine almost went under.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams, To set my brother Clarence and the king In deadly hate the one against the other: And if King Edward be as true and just As I am subtle, false, and treacherous, This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up,— About a prophecy which says that G Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Life and Death of King Richard III
  • "To tell you I’ve contacted my lawyer, Hibbie Goodman, who happens to be the number one expert on the libel laws in Mississippi, and you are in big trouble, missy.
    Kathryn Stockett  --  The Help
  • May I not ask a libel, Sir Sompnour, And answer there by my procuratour To such thing as men would appose* me?
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • "Poh, nonsense!" said Mr. Smooth-it-away, taking my arm and leading me off, "these fellows ought to be indicted for a libel.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Celestial Railroad
  • There were a great many bundles of papers on it, some endorsed as Allegations, and some (to my surprise) as Libels, and some as being in the Consistory Court, and some in the Arches Court, and some in the Prerogative Court, and some in the Admiralty Court, and some in the Delegates’ Court; giving me occasion to wonder much, how many Courts there might be in the gross, and how long it would take to understand them all.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • A libel that’ll be repeated a hundred times over if we sue.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • If Salander’s evidence could not be substantiated or the man was acquitted, the company might risk a libel suit.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • If Shenke is innocent he would sue Millennium for libel.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • —Take a what? says I. —Libel action, says he, for ten thousand pounds.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
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Associated words [difficulty]:   libel [4] , defame [5] , slander [3] , homicide [2] , extortion [3] , slander [3] , breaking and entering [5] , manslaughter [5] , aggravated assault [7] , assault and battery [8]
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