deniability

noun
de·​ni·​abil·​i·​ty | \ dē-ˌnī-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce deniability (audio) \

Definition of deniability

: the ability to deny something especially on the basis of being officially uninformed

Examples of deniability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The two other women were arrested to provide plausible deniability that the operation was politically motivated, the suit alleges. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "Ohio officers involved in Stormy Daniels strip club arrest face departmental charges," 1 Aug. 2019 And unlike conventional weapons, whose trajectories are easily traced, cyber weapons, which move through fibre-optic cables that crisscross the globe, lend themselves to plausible deniability. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "How Cyber Weapons Are Changing the Landscape of Modern Warfare," 18 July 2019 The strategy allows for deniability on the part of labs, who sell the peptides to the clinics at cost. Lindsay Gellman, Longreads, "The Last Resort," 22 Mar. 2018 Prosecutors would likely respond that by speaking broadly to the public instead of privately to Stone, Trump was trying to influence Stone in a manner that gave him plausible deniability. Sean Illing, Vox, "Did Trump commit witness tampering by tweet? I asked 9 legal experts.," 3 Dec. 2018 Notable differences include the use of Cobalt Strike rather than custom malware; however, many espionage actors do use publicly and commercially available frameworks for reasons such as plausible deniability. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Russia’s Cozy Bear comes out of hiding with post-election spear-phishing blitz," 20 Nov. 2018 This kind of hybrid warfare gave Putin just enough plausible deniability about what was clearly happening — Russia seizing territory that belonged to another nation. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Now NATO Says Russian “Hybrid Warfare” Could Start a Real War," 13 July 2018 Whether truthful or misleading, a state gains plausible deniability by characterizing its nationals as nonofficial military personnel, using such terms as contractors, mercenaries, privateers or volunteers. Austin Carson, Washington Post, "Russia and the U.S. just defused a potential crisis in Syria — and showed us how to back away from a war," 20 Feb. 2018 As an institution Hooters trades in plausible deniability. Jaya Saxena, GQ, "Is There a Place for Hooters in 2018?," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deniability.' 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 deniability

1973, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

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The first known use of deniability was in 1973

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