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

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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 The Encinitas City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday for a public hearing to hear appeals on a Planning Commission denial of permits for the Encinitas Boulevard Apartments, a 277-unit development at 2220, 2228 and 2230 Encinitas Boulevard. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Oct. 2021 That list included a denial that Facebook puts profit and growth above people’s safety and how the company has called for regulations from the government. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 The Associated Press reported that Peters was facing a denial of her certification to become a real estate appraiser when the July 2020 meeting took place. Maeve Reston, CNN, 7 Oct. 2021 The actor tried to get out of questions about his return to the Marvel character fans love so much, failing miserably to deliver a strong denial. Chris Smith, BGR, 5 Oct. 2021 It’s not a denial of reality, but a more serious journey into it. BostonGlobe.com, 23 Sep. 2021 The court's denial came quickly: The Legislature had filed a motion seeking to move the appeal to the Supreme Court earlier Wednesday morning. Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, 29 Sep. 2021 Some also traffic in Holocaust denial and Nazi appreciation. Andrew Lapin, sun-sentinel.com, 29 Sep. 2021 Fair Oaks Country Store LLC issued a general denial and asked the court to dismiss the complaint. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Sep. 2021

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

deny + -al entry 2

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Learn More About denial

Dictionary Entries Near denial

deniable

denial

denialism

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Statistics for denial

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Denial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denial. Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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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
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on denial

Nglish: Translation of denial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of denial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about denial

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