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 While most of downtown has turned into a fortress meant to keep people away, there will be slices of land available for demonstrations, despite Bowser’s request that the interior secretary deny all permits in downtown Washington. Anchorage Daily News, "With Mall, bridges and streets closed in D.C., the nation prepares for a celebration of democracy mostly devoid of its citizens," 16 Jan. 2021 If the exemption is based on a religious belief, an employer may deny a potential accommodation that would be more than a small cost or burden, Strowhiro said. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, "Some workers don’t want a COVID-19 vaccine. Can their bosses make them get it anyway?," 15 Jan. 2021 And, yes, there certainly are notable exceptions, but Ru also can’t deny that Drag Race’s elimination structure inherently creates a hierarchy within the show’s alumni, the consequences of which are plain as day. Paul Mccallion, Vulture, "RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Tamisha Said I Had Potential," 15 Jan. 2021 Few of the assassinations have been claimed, and the Taliban officially deny any role. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Talk or fight? In Afghanistan, signs Taliban now prefer victory.," 14 Jan. 2021 If a passenger does not provide proof of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger, the agency said. New York Times, "U.S. to Require Negative Virus Tests From International Air Passengers," 12 Jan. 2021 In its petition, the city said the 5th Circuit’s ruling conflicts with rulings in the other federal appeals courts on the question of whether district courts have the ability to reduce or deny a cost award following a successful appeal. Patrick Danner,, "U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review San Antonio’s appeal in hotel tax case," 11 Jan. 2021 Justice Joshua Groban said a simpler approach would be to allow judges to deny bail to defendants who were a threat to public safety, similar to the system proposed by Prop. 25. Bob Egelko,, "California Supreme Court takes a step toward abolishing cash bail at hearing," 5 Jan. 2021 Democrats, with a majority, would also face pressure from the left to dismantle the filibuster and deny Republican senators the chance to influence legislation. Gregory Korte, Fortune, "Georgia’s Senate runoff takes place today. The outcome will shape Biden’s presidency," 5 Jan. 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

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on deny

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