Simple Definition of belie
: to give a false idea of (something)
: to show (something) to be false or wrong
Examples of belie in a sentence
a tree whose delicate beauty belies its real toughness
Their actions belie their claim to be innocent.
Did You Know?
What is a lie? asked Lord Byron in Don Juan. He then answered himself: "'Tis but the truth in masquerade. . . ." The history of "belie" illustrates a certain connection between lying and disguising. In its earliest known use, around A.D. 1000, belie meant "to deceive by lying." By the 1200s, it was being used to mean "to tell lies about," using a sense similar to that of the modern word slander. Over time its meaning softened, shifting from an act of outright lying to one of mere misrepresentation, and by the early 1700s, the word was being used in the sense "to disguise or conceal." Nowadays, "belie" suggests giving an impression at variance with the facts rather than telling an intentional untruth.
Before 12th Century
First Known Use of belie
before 12th century
BELIE Defined for Kids
Definition of belie for Students
1 : to give a false idea of <Her voice was strong and even, belying her eighty-two years. — Kevin Henkes, Olive's Ocean>
2 : to show to be false <Their actions belie their claim of innocence.>
Seen and Heard
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