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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web Most projects presented to the City Council are opposed by someone, and the council can’t deny them all, Rodriguez said. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2022 But no one can deny it: The NHL is in the midst of a goal-scoring explosion. Laine Higgins, WSJ, 1 May 2022 Creative integration of balloons with shoot-and-scoot air defense teams can effectively deny attackers access to ultra-low airspace. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 But last fall, a state district judge ruled that Reed doesn’t deserve a new trial, clearing the way for the Court of Criminal Appeals to similarly deny him. NBC News, 25 Apr. 2022 No one can deny that growing kids need tons of stuff. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 22 Apr. 2022 Anna Staver about Ohio Senate Bill 202, which would prohibit courts and child-placing entities from using a person’s disability as the reason to limit or deny them from caring for a child. Laura Hancock, cleveland, 29 Mar. 2022 But no one can deny that the tale laid out by the prosecutors is worthy of a movie or a bestselling book. Karen Kaplanscience And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2022 No one can deny that federal student-aid programs require major reforms, starting with caps on loans at commonsense levels. Preston Cooper, National Review, 19 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near deny

Denver sandwich


deny oneself

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Statistics for deny

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for deny


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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on deny

Nglish: Translation of deny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deny for Arabic Speakers


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