Simple Definition of deny
: to say that something is not true
: to refuse to accept or admit (something)
: to refuse to give (something) to someone : to prevent someone from having or receiving (something)
Full Definition of deny
1 : to declare untrue <deny an allegation>
2 : to refuse to admit or acknowledge : disavow <deny responsibility>
3 a : to give a negative answer to <denying the petitioners> b : to refuse to grant <deny a request> c : to restrain (oneself) from gratification of desires
4 archaic : decline
5 : to refuse to accept the existence, truth, or validity of
Examples of deny
He denied the report that he would be quitting his job.
She denies all the charges that have been made against her.
The police deny that racism is a problem in the department.
Yes, I was there. I don't deny it.
The judge denied their request.
a government that denies its citizens basic freedoms
Origin of deny
Middle English, from Anglo-French deneier, denier, from Latin denegare, from de- + negare to deny — more at negate
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of deny
Rhymes with deny
aby, agley, air-dry, Alai, ally, Altai, anti, apply, assai, awry, aye-aye, Bacchae, Baha'i, banzai, barfly, bee fly, Belgae, belie, bigeye, big lie, black eye, blackfly, black tie, blow-dry, blowby, blowfly, blue-sky, Bo Hai, bone-dry, bonsai, botfly, Brunei, buckeye, bugeye, bye-bye, canaille, catchfly, cat's-eye, Chennai, chess pie, Chiang Mai, cockeye, cockshy, come by, comply, cow pie, crane fly, cross-eye, deadeye, decry, deep-fry, deep-sky, deerfly, defy, Delphi, descry, do by, dong quai, drip-dry, drop by, dry eye, dry fly, elhi, Eli, espy, face fly, firefly, fish-eye, flesh fly, flyby, fly high, forby, freeze-dry, frogeye, fruit fly, gadfly, gallfly, get by, GI, glass eye, go by, good-bye, greenfly, grisaille, gun-shy, Haggai, Hawkeye, heel fly, hereby, hi-fi, hog-tie, horn fly, horsefly, housefly, imply, jai alai, July, Karzai, Kasai, knee-high, lanai, Lanai, lay-by, lay by, Lehigh, let fly, Levi, lie by, magpie, mai tai, mao-tai, Masai, mayfly, medfly, mind's eye, Moirai, mooneye, Mumbai, my eye, nearby, necktie, nilgai, nisi, outbye, outcry, oxeye, pad thai, Panay, panfry, Parcae, piece-dye, pigsty, pinkeye, Po Hai, pop eye, pop fly, potpie, put by, Qinghai, quasi, rabbi, red-eye, rely, reply, rib eye, ride high, rocaille, rough-dry, run dry, Sakai, sand fly, sci-fi, screw eye, semi, Sendai, serai, set by, shanghai, Shanghai, sheep's eye, shoofly, shut-eye, Sinai, sky-high, small-fry, stand by, standby, stir-fry, string tie, supply, swear by, terai, test-fly, thereby, tie-dye, titi, tongue-tie, Transkei, twist tie, two-ply, untie, vat dye, Versailles, walleye, well-nigh, whereby, whitefly, wild rye, wise guy
DENY Defined for Kids
Definition of deny
1 : to declare not to be true <“Well, they were a lazy lot—that much you can't deny.” — Mary Norton, The Borrowers>
2 : to refuse to grant <deny a request>
3 : to refuse to admit <deny guilt>
Word Root of deny
The Latin word negāre, meaning “to deny” or “to say no,” and its form negātus give us the root neg. Words from the Latin negāre have something to do with saying no. Anything negative, such as a reply to a question, denies something or responds by saying no. To renege is to go back on, or deny, an agreement or promise. Even the last letters of deny, to declare something to be false, come from negāre.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up deny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).