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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

With a glossy look that belies its modest budget and slender 20-day shoot, this elevated genre exercise should enjoy healthy festival interest and decent commercial prospects. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'I See You': Film Review | Edinburgh 2019," 8 July 2019 India isn’t represented in Epcot, so head to A’taj , just outside one of the resort’s southern gates, for kebabs, curries and kormas in a fairly opulent setting that belies its strip-mall address. Jim Webster, Twin Cities, "In Orlando or Anaheim for a Disney vacation? Explore the cities beyond the gates, too," 29 June 2019 India isn’t represented in Epcot, so head to A’taj, just outside one of the resort’s southern gates, for kebabs, curries and kormas in a fairly opulent setting that belies its strip-mall address. Noy Thrupkaew And Jim Webster, Houston Chronicle, "In Orlando or Anaheim for a Disney vacation? Explore the cities beyond the gates, too," 28 June 2019 Tucked behind a large self-storage facility on Old Farms Road in Avon is a private water-skiing pond that has a reputation that belies its quiet setting. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "Chemistry and calm, then loneliness and turbulence in the marriage of missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos," 23 June 2019 India isn’t represented in Epcot, so head to A’taj , just outside one of the resort’s southern gates, for kebabs, curries and kormas in a fairly opulent setting that belies its strip-mall address. Noy Thrupkaew, Washington Post, "In Orlando or Anaheim for a Disney vacation? Explore the cities beyond the gates, too.," 21 June 2019 When Big Little Lies debuted in 2017 as a miniseries, the scenes that belied its showy, Monterey-mommies-and-murder veneer were the moments when Celeste was in therapy, grappling with Perry’s violence and her seeming addiction to him. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Family Values of Big Little Lies," 7 June 2019 That boyish smile and crinkling eyes belie the 40 years Keith Mills has spent in sports broadcasting — the past 13 on WBAL’s graveyard shift — and the drug arrests that scarred him inside, if not out. Mike Klingaman, baltimoresun.com, "After fighting addiction, WBAL sportscaster Keith Mills retiring as 'a Baltimore treasure'," 27 June 2019 Our experiences belie a deeper existential crisis in primary care. STAT, "We were inspired to become primary care physicians. Now we’re reconsidering a field in crisis," 20 June 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.

See More

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"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about belie

Listen to Our Podcast about belie

Statistics for belie

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for belie

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on belie

What made you want to look up belie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!