Definition of criminal libel in English:

criminal libel

Pronunciation /ˌkrim(ə)n(ə)l ˈlībəl/ /ˌkrɪm(ə)n(ə)l ˈlaɪbəl/


  • A malicious, defamatory statement in a permanent form, rendering the maker liable to criminal prosecution.

    ‘Public nuisance and criminal libel have been cited as common law crimes of strict liability.’
    • ‘This would make them categorically protected, against criminal libel prosecution or civil libel lawsuits.’
    • ‘Many people have argued that criminal libel laws are unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court has never so held.’
    • ‘Journalists said that there were too many criminal libel suits against reporters.’
    • ‘He has chosen instead to go the way of criminal libel which carries a jail term.’