de·​ni·​abil·​i·​ty | \ dē-ˌnī-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē \

Definition of deniability

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

Examples of deniability in a Sentence

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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 But coverage also oversimplified the mechanics of these projects, which offer some degree of corporate deniability. Ingrid Burrington, The Atlantic, "Who Gets to Live in Silicon Valley?," 25 June 2018 His insistence that the original video is being taken out of context is a textbook example of claiming plausible deniability, one where anyone who is frightened, hurt, or offended by his comments is simply missing a joke. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Disney remixer Pogo can’t walk back his homophobic comments on YouTube," 1 June 2018 Where trolls wear their snickering misdemeanors on their sleeve, a subtweeter has deniability. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "Donald Trump and the Golden Age of Subtweeting," 4 May 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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The first known use of deniability was in 1973

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