de·​ni·​able | \ di-ˈnī-ə-bəl How to pronounce deniable (audio) , dē-\

Definition of deniable

: capable of being denied

Examples of deniable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The best way to describe them is a covert, deniable first-strike weapon. Fox News, "'Highly likely Iran is responsible' for oil tanker attack in Gulf of Oman, US defense official says," 13 June 2019 Instead, politicians preside over a system that uses plausibly deniable violence to maintain power and to keep perks flowing to a privileged few. Rachel Kleinfeld, WSJ, "The Violence Driving Migration Isn’t Just Gangs," 9 Nov. 2018 But since at least the 1990s, Moscow has used them as deniable proxies for its military interventions abroad. Owen Matthews, Newsweek, "Putin’s Secret Armies Waged War in Syria—Where Will They Fight Next?," 17 Jan. 2018 In this context, the idea of Veselnitskaya as a deniable intermediary is not entirely implausible. Mark Galeotti, The Atlantic, "What Exactly are 'Kremlin Ties'?," 12 July 2017 How would a government or military react to an attack from a source that is autonomous, overwhelming in numbers, and completely deniable in terms of ownership? James Floyd Kelly, WIRED, "Book Review and Author Interview: Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez," 12 July 2012 This might take the form of a cyberattack or other deniable but dramatic action to send a message about their resolve over Syria and even the score. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Shot Down a Syrian Plane. Russia Is Angry. Now What?," 19 June 2017

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

1548, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for deniable

Last Updated

1 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deniable

The first known use of deniable was in 1548

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English Language Learners Definition of deniable

: possible to deny

More from Merriam-Webster on deniable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deniable

Comments on deniable

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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