de·​ny | \di-ˈnī, 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 \ -​ˈnī-​iŋ-​lē \ 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

Iran denies involvement and contends the allegations against its diplomat are intended to damage its relations with the European Union. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "Pompeo presses Europe to get tough on Iran," 13 July 2018 For many centuries, and in many places around the world, women artists have been denied the opportunities afforded to their male counterparts. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 The Chinese were specifically denied state citizenship. Longreads, "Oregon’s Racist Past," 12 July 2018 But at the time, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Nancy Newman denied the Cavic/McKnight petition to compel arbitration and paused the litigation to wait on Chernick's decision regarding Heyman/Lesak/Nuciforo. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "CAA, UTA Headed to Second Arbitration Over "Lawless Midnight Raid"," 11 July 2018 Britain blamed Russia for the attack, but Moscow denied involvement. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "British Woman Dies After Being Exposed to Nerve Agent Used on Former Russian Spy," 9 July 2018 Jordan Pickford denies Viktor Claesson, who found some space and fired for the left post. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "England Takes Another Step Toward Bringing ‘It’ Home," 8 July 2018 China denies the claims, which if confirmed would amount to the largest espionage operation in history. The Economist, "Xi’s world order: July 2024," 7 July 2018 Residents living near the business had collected 700 signatures asking the county board to deny the special use requests. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Annexation hearing scheduled for gas station that wants 24/7 gambling," 4 July 2018

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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Statistics for deny

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deny

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

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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 \
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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Comments on deny

What made you want to look up deny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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