de·​ny | \ di-ˈnī How to pronounce deny (audio) , dē- \
denied; denying

Definition of deny

transitive verb

1 : to declare untrue denied the allegation
2 : to refuse to admit or acknowledge : disavow denied responsibility for the vandalism
3a : to give a negative answer to denying the petitioners
b : to refuse to grant deny a request was denied a refund
c : to restrain (oneself) from gratification of desires deny himself the foods that he loves
4 archaic : decline
5 : to refuse to accept the existence, truth, or validity of There's no denying her expertise. You can't deny that he's a good singer.

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Other Words from deny

denyingly \ di-​ˈnī-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce denyingly (audio) , dē-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for deny

deny, gainsay, contradict, contravene mean to refuse to accept as true or valid. deny implies a firm refusal to accept as true, to grant or concede, or to acknowledge the existence or claims of. denied the charges gainsay implies disputing the truth of what another has said. no one can gainsay her claims contradict implies an open or flat denial. her account contradicts his contravene implies not so much an intentional opposition as some inherent incompatibility. laws that contravene tradition

Examples of deny in a Sentence

He denied the report that he would be quitting his job. She denies all the charges that have been made against her. The police deny that racism is a problem in the department. Yes, I was there. I don't deny it. The judge denied their request. a government that denies its citizens basic freedoms
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Recent Examples on the Web Hill has strenuously denied those allegations and is running for reelection. Chris Sikich, The Indianapolis Star, "Former GOP congressman Todd Rokita to challenge Curtis Hill for AG nomination," 20 May 2020 The Indiana theater is one of hundreds of organizations and businesses, including restaurants, nail salons, and casinos, that have sued insurers for denying them a payout for their losses from the coronavirus. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Who pays for the pandemic when insurance companies refuse?," 14 May 2020 But there's no denying he'd have been a weapon for quarterbacks Jawon Pass and Micale (then Malik) Cunningham. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "In hindsight: What if Rondale Moore picked Louisville football over Purdue?," 12 May 2020 An airline can be fined for sending a passenger to a foreign country where they could be denied entry without proper visas or documentation. Ramsey Qubein, Condé Nast Traveler, "What an Airline Station Manager Does Amid a Crisis," 12 May 2020 Neighborhood residents who opposed any development on the property sued the city in 2018 for denying them the right to a full hearing before the commission. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Judge rules in favor of Nora residents in controversial development of Haverstick Woods," 10 May 2020 But it wasn’t selected for the end-of-year showcase, denying Nafsika greater exposure to the fashion industry. Sheila Marikar, 1843, "Arab millennials have a new favourite fashion brand," 7 May 2020 Bodney, the attorney representing the news organizations, said in court on Wednesday that the state's position puts the public at risk by denying them access to information. Caitlin Mcglade, azcentral, "Arizona Department of Health Services argues to keep private information on nursing homes with coronavirus cases," 6 May 2020 The idea of communism granted them a dignity denied them by the outside world. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "How Vivian Gornick Reinvigorated Political Writing," 1 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deny.' 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 deny

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deny

Middle English, from Anglo-French deneier, denier, from Latin denegare, from de- + negare to deny — more at negate

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Time Traveler for deny

Time Traveler

The first known use of deny was in the 14th century

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Statistics for deny

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for deny


How to pronounce deny (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deny

: to say that something is not true
: to refuse to accept or admit (something)
: to refuse to give (something) to someone : to prevent someone from having or receiving (something)


de·​ny | \ di-ˈnī How to pronounce deny (audio) \
denied; denying

Kids Definition of deny

1 : to declare not to be true “Well, they were a lazy lot—that much you can't deny.”— Mary Norton, The Borrowers
2 : to refuse to grant deny a request
3 : to refuse to admit deny guilt
denied; denying

Legal Definition of deny

1 : to declare untrue a party must…admit or deny the allegationsFederal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 8(b) — compare avoid
2 : to refuse to grant denied the motion for a new trial

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More from Merriam-Webster on deny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deny

Spanish Central: Translation of deny

Nglish: Translation of deny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deny for Arabic Speakers

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