belie

verb
be·​lie | \ bi-ˈlī How to pronounce belie (audio) , bē-\
belied; belying

Definition of belie

transitive verb

1a : to give a false impression of Her gentleness belies her strength.
b : to present an appearance not in agreement with His manner and appearance belie his age.
2a : to show (something) to be false or wrong The evidence belies their claims of innocence.
b : to run counter to : contradict … appeared to belie all the rosy things I had heard about it.— Katherine T. Kinkead
3 : disguise sense 3 An air of rural charm … belies the community's industrial activity.American Guide Series: Pennsylvania

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Other Words from belie

belier \ bi-​ˈlī(-​ə)r How to pronounce belier (audio) , bē-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for belie

Synonyms

misrepresent

Antonyms

betray, represent

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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.

Examples of belie in a Sentence

a tree whose delicate beauty belies its real toughness Their actions belie their claim to be innocent.

Recent Examples on the Web

Set on Cape Cod's farthest bit of land, Provincetown, Massachusetts’s small-town look belies its outsize reputation. Kathryn O'shea Evans, House Beautiful, "This Stunning Massachusetts Home is a Haven in the Trees," 3 May 2019 True to those details, audiences know that Cersei's words belie her intentions heading into the final season. Glamour, "Game of Thrones," 12 Apr. 2019 Their happy demeanor here belies the fact that members of the court, especially the prince's mother Empress Nagako, weren't supportive of their courtship. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "The Secret Story Behind a Never-Before-Seen Portrait of Emperor Akihito," 2 May 2019 The season’s best come in a mix of materials that toe the line between edgy and refined—a bit of clear PVC; a hint of snakeskin—all of which belie a sensible (and blessedly walkable) heel height. 2. Vogue, "5 Spring Essentials to Stock Up On," 19 Mar. 2019 Any creative freedoms the form seems to promise are belied by Mr. Knausgaard’s evident impatience with the daily chore of transcribing his memories like an overworked office clerk. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The End of a Monstrous Struggle," 13 Sep. 2018 The former is a pot-dealing ne’er-do-well who’s just been kicked out of his retirement community (but whose claim to be dying is belied by the twinkle in his eye). Michael O’sullivan, kansascity, "‘Boundaries’: Pot-dealing Christopher Plummer plus adorable dogs equals fun road movie," 5 July 2018 The former is a pot-dealing ne'er-do-well who's just been kicked out of his retirement community (but whose claim to be dying is belied by the twinkle in his eye). Michael O'sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "'Boundaries' review: A family road trip to reconciliation and maybe, understanding," 28 June 2018 Up to and including the winning score, Alex Lyon’s steady play in goal (24 saves) belied his coach’s lack of trust. Sam Donnellon, Philly.com, "Flyers lose to Bruins as Brad Marchand's last-minute goal beats Alex Lyon," 8 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of belie

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for belie

Middle English belien, going back to Old English belēogan, from be- be- + lēogan "to lie entry 3"

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Statistics for belie

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for belie

The first known use of belie was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for belie

belie

verb

English Language Learners Definition of belie

formal
: to give a false idea of (something)
: to show (something) to be false or wrong

belie

verb
be·​lie | \ bi-ˈlī How to pronounce belie (audio) \
belied; belying

Kids Definition of belie

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on belie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belie

Spanish Central: Translation of belie

Nglish: Translation of belie for Spanish Speakers

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