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

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 Flipping around figure and ground, motion and stillness, certainty and negation, are all examples of opening our senses and thoughts to fresh perspectives. Ginny Whitelaw, Forbes, 1 Jan. 2022 The negation as a prefix signals this part of our identity is never enough. Ching Ching Tan, CNN, 18 Dec. 2021 The denial of self, the pursuit of originality and the negation of impulses. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 But the simple idea of not ever drinking again seemed impossible, a grim negation of all convivial life. Maggie Nelson, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 Love is often defined through opposition and negation: love versus friendship, love versus hate, love versus indifference, love versus money. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 Albinism is generally framed in the negative, trapped in some form of institutionalized negation or deficit. Thando Hopa, Allure, 23 Aug. 2021 But this only complicates the negation of the COVID-19 externality very slightly. Brad Polumbo, National Review, 4 Aug. 2021 In German, the word for the uncanny comes from a negation of the word for the homely, unheimlich from heimlich, a quick slip, on a prefix’s turn, from the cozy to the claustrophobic. Gillian Osborne, Harper's Magazine, 22 June 2021

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

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Negation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on negation

Nglish: Translation of negation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of negation for Arabic Speakers


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