Defamation by Implication Definition

An injury to reputation that's caused when literally true factual statements create a false impression. While the elements of defamation by implication vary from state to state, in general, it requires proof that the speaker:

  • published true statements in a way that implied something defamatory, or
  • implied something defamatory by omitting facts, and
  • intended the defamatory implication.

See, for example, Jews for Jesus, Inc. v. Rapp, 997 So.2d 1098, 1106-07 (Fla. 2008).

"'Defamation by implication' is premised not on direct statements but on false suggestions, impressions and implications arising from otherwise truthful statements." Armstrong v. Simon Shuster, Inc., 649 N.E.2d 825, 829-30 (N.Y. 1995).