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

Antonyms

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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 The unusual campaign prop belied the urgency of Fischer’s mission. Washington Post, "Germany’s far right is set to challenge Angela Merkel’s grip in upcoming elections," 30 Aug. 2019 With her latest outfit, though, Eilish belies her age. Vogue, "Billie Eilish’s Latest Playful Outfit Proves She’s a ’90s Kid at Heart," 29 Aug. 2019 The apparent calm of the election belied the real concerns of the German public, concerns evident in the election results. Sally Rooney, The New York Review of Books, "Madeleine Schwartz," 18 Apr. 2019 Her coffee preference belies her cool public image; McBride has developed a reputation for handling intense situations with exceeding grace. Katelyn Burns, Vox, "Sarah McBride thought coming out would kill her political career. She’s just getting started.," 5 Aug. 2019 In his first book are jellyfish that look like flowers, protists that resemble Fabergé eggs, presented like crown jewels on black velvet, the seeming cosmic vastness of the images belying their actual, microscopic size. The New York Review of Books, "Lucy Jakub," 16 Dec. 2018 Any indifference on the field, however, was belied by a vibrant atmosphere in the stands. Jack Harriswriter, Los Angeles Times, "Fans relish chance to see Arsenal and Bayern Munich in ‘once in a lifetime’ experience," 17 July 2019 And his populist rhetoric has been belied by a policy agenda, including a tax-cut package in 2017, that has been well in keeping with the inequality-exacerbating orthodoxy of conservative economics. Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker, "Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ Billionaire for the People?," 14 July 2019 But the court, upholding a federal judge’s ruling, said the argument was belied both by the nature of Trump’s tweets and by his administration’s characterization of his account. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Court rules Trump can’t deny access to his tweets — First Amendment applies," 9 July 2019

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

3 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce belie (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belie

Spanish Central: Translation of belie

Nglish: Translation of belie for Spanish Speakers

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not being in agreement or harmony

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