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
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Around the same time, Iranian hackers launched a relentless denial-of-service attack on some forty-six American companies, including A. T. &T. and JPMorgan Chase, which continually knocked them offline for a hundred and seventy-six days. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Should the U.S. Expect an Iranian Cyberattack?," 6 Jan. 2020 With so many interconnections, a denial of service attack in one app could potentially have impacts across the ecosystem. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "WhatsApp Fixes Yet Another Group Chat Security Gap," 17 Dec. 2019 There have been at least 30 votes for denial of exemptions by local boards across the state under the new rules in the last three years, according to Louisiana Economic Development. Sara Sneath, ProPublica, "Chemical Companies Are Building Their Plants Overseas and Shipping Them Back In. They Still Get State Tax Breaks.," 6 Dec. 2019 But to allow the GOP to claim the reason for this denial is one based on a wariness over a shaky government is to acquiesce to their imbalanced rules of play. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Argument Against D.C. Statehood Is Rooted in Racism," 20 Sep. 2019 Antonio Milnar Delamea was sent off in the ninth minute for denial of an obvious scoring opportunity. SI.com, "Late Rossi Goal Gives LAFC Draw Against Orlando, Toronto Blasts FC Cincinnati," 7 Sep. 2019 The group plays a set that goes through five stages of grief: a spiritual for denial; classical music for anger; jazz for bargaining; then blues and soul music for depression and acceptance. Theresa Waldrop, CNN, "These Milwaukee musicians gather to play at the city's crime scenes," 17 Aug. 2019 United, which was outshot 26-11 and is winless in its last three games, played a man down after Junior Moreno was shown a straight red card in the 40th for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. baltimoresun.com, "Philadelphia Union’s Alejandro Bedoya makes on-field statement about gun violence: ‘Hey Congress, do something now!’," 5 Aug. 2019 In particular, government lawyers acknowledged after years of denials that more than 500 private entities are given access to the list. Matthew Barakat, Fortune, "Judge Orders Government to Make Changes to Terror Watchlist," 27 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of denial

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for denial

see deny

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Time Traveler for denial

Time Traveler

The first known use of denial was in 1528

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Statistics for denial

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Denial.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denial. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for denial

denial

noun
How to pronounce denial (audio)

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

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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

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Comments on denial

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