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 belie (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 But their laughs on the swings and shrieks on the trampoline belie a deep sense of sadness -- because one person is missing. Nora Neus, CNN, "Hundreds of US families have been trying for a year to adopt children from China. They're still waiting," 26 Mar. 2021 Mecklenburg’s idyllic qualities belie a long and turbulent history. Sigrid Macrae, Harper's Magazine, "Two Germanys," 16 Mar. 2021 But all of the freaks’ requests that Lindsay stay with Nick belie that denial, don’t they? Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, "An Unlikely School Spirit Overtakes Freaks and Geeks," 13 Feb. 2021 The expansive mood that Bagdadi finds in Beirut’s young people seems to belie such pessimism. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Two Works by a Great Lebanese Filmmaker on Netflix," 28 Jan. 2021 Like so much in military life it was designed to belie the truth of their mission, which was a provocation, plain and simple. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part I: Peril in the South China Sea," 26 Jan. 2021 But the historic burdens carried by Black-White couples belie the fact that the vast majority of interracial marriages are loving and boringly normal, said Cheryl Judice, a sociologist and adjunct professor at Northwestern University. Sydney Trent, Washington Post, "For interracial couples, Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff are a ‘monumental’ symbol," 23 Nov. 2020 Malcolm said the numbers belie progress in Minnesota. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota senior test clinics expand vaccine access," 21 Jan. 2021 The oblong Citroën is far from the only car whose odd looks belie its prowess. Hannah Elliott, Bloomberg.com, "These Cars Might Be Ugly, But They’re Still a Blast to Drive," 14 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for belie

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for belie

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Belie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belie. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on belie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belie

Nglish: Translation of belie for Spanish Speakers

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