Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

belie

play
verb be·lie \bi-ˈlī, bē-\

Simple Definition of belie

  • : to give a false idea of (something)

  • : to show (something) to be false or wrong

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of belie

belied

belying

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to give a false impression of b :  to present an appearance not in agreement with

  3. 2 a :  to show (something) to be false or wrong b :  to run counter to :  contradict

  4. 3 :  disguise 3

belier

play \-ˈlī(-ə)r\ noun

Examples of belie in a sentence

  1. a tree whose delicate beauty belies its real toughness

  2. 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

belie

play
verb be·lie \bi-ˈlī\

Definition of belie for Students

belied

belying

  1. 1 :  to give a false idea of <Her voice was strong and even, belying her eighty-two years. — Kevin Henkes, Olive's Ocean>

  2. 2 :  to show to be false <Their actions belie their claim of innocence.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up belie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a very small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate acommadate accomodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ