ne·​ga·​tion | \ ni-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce negation (audio) \

Definition of negation

1a : the action or logical operation of negating or making negative
b : a negative statement, judgment, or doctrine especially : a logical proposition formed by asserting the falsity of a given proposition — see Truth Table
2a : something that is the absence of something actual : nonentity
b : something considered the opposite of something regarded as positive

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Other Words from negation

negational \ ni-​ˈgā-​shnəl How to pronounce negation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of negation in a Sentence

issued specific negations of all of the charges against her a ruling by the Supreme Court that many regarded as a negation of the basic right of privacy
Recent Examples on the Web Their philosophy of pure negation cannot sustain a political order that affirms liberty, human dignity, and moral and civic equality, rightly and humanely understood. Nr Staff, National Review, "Liberty and Justice for All: An Open Letter to Fellow Citizens in Defense of American Institutions," 10 Sep. 2020 For at least the past dozen years, the public has been pressed to choose between obedience to a smug, privilege-hoarding neoliberal elite or allegiance to a belligerent ideology rooted in negation, self-pity, resentment and revenge. New York Times, "A Summer Without Superheroes," 1 July 2020 In this austere telling, disputed by many economists, the current splurge is a vindication of fiscal rectitude, rather than its negation. The Economist, "Hey, big spenders Germany opens the money tap," 11 June 2020 Resisting binaries or expectations isn’t just about negation. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Moses Sumney’s World of Possibilities," 2 Mar. 2020 The foundation of hunting was a discovery of logic: the working of negation. New York Times, "‘The Celestial Hunter,’ by Roberto Calasso: An Excerpt," 28 Apr. 2020 American officials had hoped the deal could lead to a withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region while stimulating intra-Afghan negations. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'F--- the peace deal': SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden celebrates US airstrike after Taliban pact breached," 4 Mar. 2020 Nasiri’s moving piece enunciates the endurance of Iraqis’ humanity in the moment of its apparent effacement—its physical negation by American bombs, and its elision from the images conveyed back to the United States by CNN. Eli Jelly-schapiro, The New York Review of Books, "The Art of Neverending Wars," 15 Feb. 2020 The revealing of details like these is a striking negation of her privacy — indeed her personhood. Katie Hafner, Washington Post, "He critiqued a callous health-care system. Then he experienced it firsthand.," 8 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'negation.' 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 negation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for negation

Middle English negacioun "denial, negative assertion," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French negaciun, borrowed from Latin negātiōn-, negātiō "denial, refusal," from negāre "to deny, say no" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at negate

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Time Traveler for negation

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The first known use of negation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Negation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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