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 During the call, Robinson does not deny his involvement in the disappearance and death of Guillen. USA Today, "Ten weeks: A timeline of the search for Vanessa Guillen," 10 July 2020 In simple terms, employers with moral or religious objections to contraception can deny employees free access to birth control, as stipulated by the Affordable Care Act. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier for Your Boss to Deny You Birth Control," 8 July 2020 India has been wary of Nepal since a Communist government was elected in 2017, but officials deny China’s involvement in internal matters. Washington Post, "Power tussle in Nepal ruling party as China influence grows," 8 July 2020 In addition to Zelman, and as a precursor to Espinoza, the justices ruled in 2017 that a Missouri program that provided free playground chips for resurfacing, could not deny access to a religious school seeking to resurface its playground. Frank S. Ravitch, The Conversation, "Supreme Court hands victory to school voucher lobby – will religious minorities, nonbelievers and state autonomy lose out?," 7 July 2020 Given everything else going on, 2020 will not deny me my sky explosions. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "How the Mustang Shelby GT500 Saved the Fourth of July," 4 July 2020 His big worry is the fatigue and mental strain on a staff that has fought for months while outsiders downplay -- or deny -- the disease. Dallas News, "Inside Parkland COVID unit, caregivers’ fatigue and mental strain grow as ‘more are dying than ever’," 1 July 2020 White House officials do not deny that the intelligence reached the Oval Office, but say it was not confirmed and so was not discussed directly with the president. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "Lack of US consensus on Russia? Bounty report poses sharper question.," 1 July 2020 Unlike Trump, Napoleon did not deny the plague, pander false cures, or ignore the suffering around him. Robert Klitzman, STAT, "Pandemic politics: What leaders should — and shouldn’t — learn from Napoleon," 25 June 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

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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