denial

noun

de·​ni·​al di-ˈnī(-ə)l How to pronounce denial (audio)
dē-
1
: refusal to satisfy a request or desire
the denial of privileges
2
a(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
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
Phrases
in denial
: refusing to admit the truth or reality of something unpleasant
a patient in denial about his health problems

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.
Recent Examples on the Web No matter what verdict the jury delivers in Donald Trump’s trial on business fraud charges in New York, one outcome is predictable: The former president will react with defiance and denial — plus a declaration of victory if he isn’t found guilty on all counts. Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2024 However, with confirmations and denials coming from both Pryor and Brando's family members, the mystery continues to grow. Jodi Guglielmi, Peoplemag, 25 May 2024 The appeal for further rehabilitation at Episcopal Homes for Ms. Nathanson did not reverse their insurer’s denial, however. Paula Span, New York Times, 25 May 2024 Medicare has a multi-step process for Medicare Advantage enrollees to appeal payment denials. Bob Herman and Casey Ross, STAT, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for denial 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'denial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

deny + -al entry 2

First Known Use

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of denial was in 1528

Dictionary Entries Near denial

Cite this Entry

“Denial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denial. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

denial

noun
de·​ni·​al di-ˈnī(-ə)l How to pronounce denial (audio)
1
: a refusal to grant something asked for
2
: a refusal to admit the truth of a statement : contradiction
a flat denial of the charges
3
: a refusal to accept or believe in something
make a public denial of political beliefs once held
4
: a cutting down or limiting of a person's own desires or activity
denial of one's appetite

Medical Definition

denial

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

Legal Definition

denial

noun
de·​ni·​al di-ˈnī-əl How to pronounce denial (audio)
1
: refusal to grant or allow something
denial of due process
denial of a motion
2
a
: 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
: a denial of all the allegations in a complaint
: a denial of all the allegations of a particular paragraph or group of paragraphs in a complaint
specific denial
: general denial in this entry
: a denial of parts of an allegation in a complaint

More from Merriam-Webster on denial

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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