denial

noun
de·​ni·​al | \ di-ˈnī(-ə)l How to pronounce denial (audio) , dē-\

Definition of denial

1 : refusal to satisfy a request or desire the denial of privileges
2a(1) : refusal to admit the truth or reality of something (such as a statement or charge) their denial of the divine right of kings
(2) : assertion that an allegation is false her denial that she was involved
b : refusal to acknowledge a person or a thing : disavowal his denial of his youngest son
3 law : the opposing by the defendant of an allegation (see allegation sense 2) of the opposite party in a lawsuit their denial of the plaintiff's allegations
4 : self-denial … a man in denial about his receding hairline.Playboy
5 logic : negation sense 1b
6 psychology : a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality
in denial
: refusing to admit the truth or reality of something unpleasant a patient in denial about his health problems

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of denial in a Sentence

She issued a flat denial of the charges made against her. The accusations have met with angry denials from school officials. The city government has been heavily criticized for its denial of the seriousness of the situation. The hardest part of the punishment was the denial of his right to see his children. The group is protesting the denial of voting rights to convicted felons. The lawyers were disappointed by the court's denial of their motion to dismiss the case.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Even without a draft, men still face prison, fines, and denial of federal loans for not registering or for not updating the government of their whereabouts. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Why a Judge Ruled the Males-Only Military Draft Unconstitutional," 25 Feb. 2019 According to the New York Times, some Dolce & Gabbana stores were vandalized with posters alluding to Gabbana's denial of the offensive direct messages attributed to his personal Instagram account. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Everything You Need to Know About Dolce & Gabbana's Canceled Shanghai Fashion Show," 26 Nov. 2018 The launch all started with the news, and a certain president’s blatant denial of ongoing climate change. Noor Brara, Vogue, "With Her Debut Collection, Sami Miro Is Using Vintage Fashion to Help Save the Planet," 8 Nov. 2018 Rajapaksa has been accused of allowing war crimes and other human rights abuses under his watch, particularly during the final, brutal push to end the insurgency — including attacks on civilians and denial of humanitarian aid. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Dueling prime ministers and assassination plots: an escalating crisis in Sri Lanka," 1 Nov. 2018 Peskov reaffirmed Moscow's strong denial of any treaty violations. Fox News, "Treaty exits and extensions top Trump adviser's Moscow talks," 23 Oct. 2018 President Trump’s denials of American deaths caused by Hurricane Maria came as the government braces for Hurricane Florence, which is anticipated to hit North Carolina, South Carolina, and parts of Virginia. Linley Sanders, Teen Vogue, "President Trump Just Denied Thousands of Puerto Rican Deaths Following Hurricane Maria," 13 Sep. 2018 The government has conducted a series of inquiries into these events but has issued blanket denials of abuses and has blamed Rohingya militants for instigating any violence. Nick Cumming-bruce, New York Times, "‘Have You No Shame?’ Myanmar Is Flogged for Violence Against Rohingya," 4 July 2018 The county’s planning department had recommended denial of the proposal but offered a set of possible conditions to be imposed upon the developer should the planning commission decide its own recommendation would be to approve. Tyler Estep, ajc, "Planners vote to scale back controversial ‘rural Gwinnett’ subdivision," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of denial

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for denial

see deny

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about denial

Statistics for denial

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for denial

The first known use of denial was in 1528

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for denial

denial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of denial

: a statement saying that something is not true or real : a statement in which someone denies something
psychology : a condition in which someone will not admit that something sad, painful, etc., is true or real
: the act of not allowing someone to have something

denial

noun
de·​ni·​al | \ di-ˈnī-əl How to pronounce denial (audio) \

Kids Definition of denial

1 : a refusal to give or agree to something asked for a denial of the request
2 : a refusal to admit the truth of a statement a denial of the accusation
3 : a refusal to accept or believe in someone or something He repeated his denial of the existence of ghosts.
4 : a cutting down or limiting a denial of his appetite

denial

noun
de·​ni·​al | \ di-ˈnī(-ə)l How to pronounce denial (audio) \

Medical Definition of denial

: a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality

Keep scrolling for more

denial

noun
de·​ni·​al | \ di-ˈnī-əl How to pronounce denial (audio) \

Legal Definition of denial

1 : refusal to grant or allow something denial of due process denial of a motion
2a : an assertion that an allegation is false
b : a defense asserting that an opposing party's allegations are false — compare affirmative defense at defense sense 2a, traverse

Note: Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, allegations that are not denied are taken as admitted, and a statement that a party has insufficient knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth of an allegation is taken as a denial. A denial must sufficiently state which allegations or parts of allegations are being denied.

argumentative denial \ ˌär-​gyə-​ˈmen-​tə-​tiv-​ \
: a denial that asserts facts inconsistent with an allegation made by an adverse party
general denial
1 : a denial of all the allegations in a complaint
2 : a denial of all the allegations of a particular paragraph or group of paragraphs in a complaint
specific denial
1 : general denial in this entry
2 : a denial of parts of an allegation in a complaint

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on denial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with denial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for denial

Spanish Central: Translation of denial

Nglish: Translation of denial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of denial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about denial

Comments on denial

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!