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 Opponents to the proposal said the distance belies the idea of local solar power — and would cost customers more. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "California solar debate: Sacramento utility pitches alternative to rooftop mandate," 12 Nov. 2019 Regulatory inaction in Washington belied a frenzy of activity all over the country; 64 cities had passed laws restricting smoking in 1974 alone. Sarah Milov, Time, "How the Vaping Industry Is Using a Defensive Tactic Pioneered Decades Ago by Big Tobacco," 2 Oct. 2019 My favorite of these channels was Red Letter Media, which features a group of grumpy white guys from Milwaukee whose rumpled demeanor belies their astute film knowledge. Wired, "Authority Figures: Movie Talk and the Rise of Review Culture," 1 Oct. 2019 But if a young quarterback is good enough, if his talents belie his age, there might not be a greater force multiplier in sports. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "How rookie deals of Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes can help keep teams’ cores together," 20 Sep. 2019 American military officials in Kabul said broad assessments from Washington often belie evidence that United States troops find on the battlefield, such as information gleaned on raids and from materials like cellphones. New York Times, "U.S. Military Calls ISIS in Afghanistan a Threat to the West. Intelligence Officials Disagree.," 2 Aug. 2019 Life on Earth depends on sunshine — but that dependability belies our star’s complexity. Stephen Ornes, Discover Magazine, "Our Sun, the Still-mysterious Star That Gives Us Life," 12 June 2019 These sites, along with those at Pinnacle Point, belie the claim that modern cognition evolved late in our lineage and suggest instead that our species had this faculty at its inception. Curtis W. Marean, Scientific American, "When the Sea Saved Humanity," 1 Nov. 2012 This oasis of raucous unity belies the political divide that has made Wisconsin the sizzling center of the 2020 presidential race. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "All eyes are on Wisconsin, the state that’s gearing up to define the presidential election," 5 Nov. 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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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

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Belie.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belies. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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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