de·​ni·​abil·​i·​ty dē-ˌnī-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce deniability (audio)
: the ability to deny something especially on the basis of being officially uninformed

Examples of deniability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Now hacking is a major, indispensable component of a full-fledged war, and its practitioners have emerged from a gray zone of plausible deniability into the limelight of military prominence. IEEE Spectrum, 10 Apr. 2024 In so doing, both patrons have elevated plausible deniability to a high rhetorical art, signaling their disapproval of their clients’ actions while leaving the underlying relationships unchanged. Joost Hiltermann, Foreign Affairs, 28 Mar. 2024 Another important unknown is where the drones and missiles would be launched — from Iraq or Syria, which could prompt a thin claim of deniability by Tehran — or from Iranian territory. David Martin, CBS News, 5 Apr. 2024 Each employee gets up hesitantly enough to afford them deniability if their king were to declare that anyone leaving ought to be imprisoned, their bodies still facing their cubicles until the final second. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 28 Feb. 2024 While the militias’ autonomy provides Iran with a degree of deniability, analysts say the current escalation is dangerously prone to overreach and miscalculation that could lead to a direct U.S.-Iran conflict. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Feb. 2024 The actions though proxies give Iran a cloak of plausible deniability, said Vakil. Susannah George, Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2024 The possibility of misinterpretation—or plausible deniability—might be part of the appeal of using emoji at work. Lora Kelley, The Atlantic, 30 Dec. 2023 Like so many prophets before and after him, Nostradamus surely understood that one’s reputation as a prognosticator required maintaining plausible deniability — while still reserving the right to claim accuracy later. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 25 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deniability.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1973, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deniability was in 1973

Dictionary Entries Near deniability

Cite this Entry

“Deniability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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