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

He was convicted again last week for Holocaust denial, a crime in France for decades that harkens back to the country’s history of surrendering French Jews to the occupying Nazis to be killed. Lori Hinnant, The Seattle Times, "French yellow vest movement dogged by intolerance, extremism," 29 Jan. 2019 Bay Area Rapid Transit approved advertisements from a group that promotes Holocaust denials and anti-Semitic sentiments, citing the organization’s right to free speech. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "San Francisco BART stations feature ads from Holocaust denial group," 12 Sep. 2018 In his piece on Facebook and Holocaust denial, Rosenberg calls for more explicit editorializing. Casey Newton, The Verge, "What YouTube could teach Facebook about conspiracies," 24 July 2018 The explanation for some denials is that FEMA encourages all storm victims to apply even though insurance will cover some residents' damages, or because an inspector deemed their home safe, if not comfortable, to live in. Mike Morris, Houston Chronicle, "Houston to get $1B in Harvey housing aid; it's not enough," 10 June 2018 Her emotions would flip from frustration to anger to denial. Doug Williams, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A caregiver's story: 'I learned to let people help me'," 4 June 2018 Despite his denial, the Washington Post reports that Cohen had instructed his lawyer to discuss a pardon with Trump’s people, back when the two were still thick as thieves. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Can a Flagpole File a Harassment Lawsuit?," 10 Mar. 2019 Despite her blatant denial, fans think that her poker face isn't convincing enough. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The Masked Singer' Fans Aren't Buying Rumer Willis' Claim That She's NOT the Lion," 30 Jan. 2019 My good health was a cloak, shielding me from thinking about illness and letting me walk in denial. Fiona Tapp, SELF, "What It’s Like to Fill in the Gaps in Your Health History When You’re Adopted," 18 Jan. 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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Statistics for denial

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for denial

The first known use of denial was in 1528

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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
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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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

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