belie

verb
be·​lie | \ bi-ˈlī , 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 , 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

In three hitless at-bats since then, there had been nothing belying Stanton’s words. New York Times, "Giancarlo Stanton Gets Taste of Revenge, but Yankees Can’t Complete a Sweep," 4 June 2018 The feel is minimal—almost forgettable—belying the glamorous style that others see. Outside Online, "The Best Sunglasses of 2018," 15 May 2018 But those same critics’ push for the company to include transgender and/or plus-size models in its fashion show — as well as the firestorm the company has weathered after not doing so — seems to belie this assertion. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sells a fantasy of empowerment. I sorta believed it.," 3 Dec. 2018 Written in first person present, Catarina’s young yet brilliant stream of consciousness belies Suvada’s own studies in math and astrophysics. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "I want to buy this YA trilogy about gene-hacking for every teen I know," 11 Nov. 2018 Yet the very existence of these books, coming reliably almost one every year, seemed to belie their message. Charles Mcgrath, BostonGlobe.com, "Philip Roth, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, dies at 85," 23 May 2018 Yet the very existence of these books, coming reliably almost one every year, seemed to belie their message. New York Times, "Philip Roth, Towering Novelist Who Explored Lust, Jewish Life and America, Dies at 85," 22 May 2018 The Buckeyes’ strong finish this season belied on-the-field problems that made for a stressful season for Meyer and his staff. Mitch Stacy, The Seattle Times, "Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to retire after Rose Bowl," 5 Dec. 2018 Musk apologized for this tweet a few days later, but his actions in the following weeks belied his apology. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "British cave explorer sues Elon Musk for defamation over “pedo guy” tweets," 17 Sep. 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

27 Jan 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 \
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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