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

Definition of deny

transitive verb

1 : to declare (something) to be untrue They denied the allegations.
2 : to refuse to admit or acknowledge (something) : 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 unwilling to deny himself the foods that he loves
4 : 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.
5 medical : to report or note the absence of (a symptom) The patient denies pruritus …— David A. Fisher
6 archaic : decline

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Other Words from deny

denyingly \ di-​ˈnī-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce deny (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 In the majority of states, maps are redrawn and accepted by state legislatures, with many giving authority to the state's governor to either approve or deny the new districts. Dan Merica, CNN, "Census Bureau to announce population numbers that will be used to reapportion congressional seats," 26 Apr. 2021 Who now could deny that to be a body at all is to be bound up with other living creatures, with surfaces, and the elements, including the air that belongs to no one and everyone? Judith Butler, Time, "Judith Butler: Creating an Inhabitable World for Humans Means Dismantling Rigid Forms of Individuality," 21 Apr. 2021 Republican lawmakers have faced intense pressure from gun rights groups to walk out and deny Democrats a quorum on the day the gun measures are scheduled for a vote. oregonlive, "Oregon Democrats likely to tuck 2 major gun safety concepts into single bill," 21 Apr. 2021 In settling the matter, Mr. Maguire didn’t admit or deny the charges, the regulator said. Allison Prang, WSJ, "Regulator Bars Former Goldman Analyst for Insider Trading," 20 Apr. 2021 The deal came a week ahead of a hearing with the Kentucky Public Service Commission, which will approve or deny the bid, and the new rates could be in effect this summer. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Here's what the deal on LG&E's rate increase could mean for your bill and Louisville," 20 Apr. 2021 There are 30 pieces of legislation that would deny gender-affirming care to transgender youths, according to the nation's largest LGBTQ civil-rights organization. Rachel Herzog, Arkansas Online, "Transgender-bill veto overridden," 7 Apr. 2021 Unfortunately, people who deny climate change also have stronger voices and are usually in positions of power. David Fear, Rolling Stone, "The Last Word: Robert Redford on Activism, Fighting Climate Change, and the Importance of Truth," 6 Apr. 2021 The bills also prohibit state and local policies that deny or restrict voting rights for someone because of his or her race, color or membership in a language minority group. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Northam signs bill to restrict local election authority," 1 Apr. 2021

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 denien, borrowed from Anglo-French denier, deneier (also continental Old French), from de- de- (reinforcing the meaning of the base verb) + nier "to renounce, deny, refuse" (after Latin dēnegāre "to deny"), going back to Latin negāre "to say (with the negative of a conjoined clause), deny, say no" — 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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for deny



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

Nglish: Translation of deny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deny for Arabic Speakers

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