ETYM Latin libellus a little book, pamphlet, libel, lampoon, dim. of liber the liber or inner bark of a tree.
A tort consisting of false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person.
In law, defamation published in a permanent form, such as in a newspaper, book, or broadcast.
A libel may be directed to a living or a dead person; either may be actionable. A person is defamed when publication of false and malicious statements hold the person up to public scorn, hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or impugn a person's capacity to perform a job. Truth of a published statement is a defense against an action for libel. With respect to public officials and public figures, the press has some protection against actions for libel in that malice and reckless disregard for the truth must be shown. See also slander.
To make slanderous statements against