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

That simplicity belies its smart, versatile design. Joe Ray, WIRED, "5 Pieces of Primo Meal-Prep Gear for the Campsite Gourmet," 6 July 2018 And, at the very same time, a mighty, pervasive and corrosive double standard belies the Klobuchar stories. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Women Will Never Truly Be Equal Until They're Allowed to Get Angry," 13 Feb. 2019 The bold colors and vibrant illustrations, however, belie a game of real depth and complexity—perhaps a bit too much complexity for some. Tom Mendelsohn, Ars Technica, "Altiplano review: A brain-tickling board game about… alpacas," 14 July 2018 But the low-key vibe of it all belies a serious potential for star power -- ever since Ye dropped last friday, Twitter’s been scrambling to catch up on her EP, which came out on G.O.O.D. Music back in March. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "070 Shake Follows Up 'Ye' Guest Spot With Video For Emotional Trap Banger 'Mirrors': Watch," 5 June 2018 Formal-looking script belies cheeky catchphrases on the brand's accent pillows, and Hill House Home welcomes creative personalization on all of its products. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Is the Direct-to-Consumer Bedding You Should Buy," 5 Mar. 2019 Awda’s son said the arrest belied the current talk of reform in Saudi Arabia. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia’s once-powerful conservatives silenced by reforms and repression," 5 June 2018 And yet, there is a deep sense of sadness that belies the performance for Ally and Jackson fans, because—grab some tissues—this is it. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Most Tender Awards Season Moments," 25 Feb. 2019 But the sweet soccer mom exterior belies a core of steel. Sarah Kunst, Marie Claire, "Gretchen Whitmer Is Ready for the Top Job," 7 Nov. 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

21 Apr 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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