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 The city clerk has until May 3 to certify or deny the paperwork. Jeremy Hsieh, Anchorage Daily News, "Activists want voters to consider limiting cruise ship access to Juneau," 14 Apr. 2021 Soldiers rationalize, deny, deceive and self-deceive, and engage in motivated reasoning and wishful thinking to win the battle of beliefs. Michael Shermer, WSJ, "‘The Scout Mindset’ Review: How to ‘Update’ Beliefs," 13 Apr. 2021 The memo reiterates what has been said publicly for weeks which is that the Pentagon did not deny any request for help on that day but was struggling to get a full picture of events. Barbara Starr And Zachary Cohen, CNN, "Army investigation expected to reveal why low-flying military helicopters were used in response to DC protests," 13 Apr. 2021 Thomson does not deny — for there is no denying — that film directors are preponderantly White and male. Washington Post, "‘A Light in the Dark’ is a love letter to the directors, personal flaws and all," 12 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, Assembly member Jamie Allard, who represents Eagle River and Chugiak, has asked the body to terminate all the city’s orders and deny the mayor’s request. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Ramadan rules, Flags of Hope, zoo overnights: News from around our 50 states," 12 Apr. 2021 Supporters of the bill are skeptical of the industry’s data but don’t deny that SB467 would have a major effect on the state’s oil and gas sector. J.d. Morris, San Francisco Chronicle, "Anti-fracking bill could severely curtail oil and gas extraction in California," 8 Apr. 2021 That means Randall and Aries Tax Service legally can deny services to gay couples such as Amy and Stephanie Mudd, according to Hartman. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky tax preparer says couples welcome, but 'homosexual marriage not recognized'," 7 Apr. 2021 The majority of these bills are attempting to exclude transgender athletes from school sports and deny gender-affirming health care to youth. Kiara Brantley-jones, ABC News, "NCAA group condemns anti-transgender sports bills in open letter," 6 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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Learn More about deny

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

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 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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