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[bih-lahy] /bɪˈlaɪ/
verb (used with object), belied, belying.
to show to be false; contradict:
His trembling hands belied his calm voice.
to misrepresent:
The newspaper belied the facts.
to act unworthily according to the standards of (a tradition, one's ancestry, one's faith, etc.).
Archaic. to lie about; slander.
Origin of belie
before 1000; Middle English belyen, Old English belēogan. See be-, lie1
Related forms
belier, noun
unbelied, adjective
1. refute, disprove, controvert, repudiate, confute, gainsay. 1, 2. See misrepresent.
1. prove, verify, support. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for belies
  • But such simplicity belies a truth about the restaurant's cooking.
  • Its moderate size belies its traditional role in presidential elections.
  • The beauty is superficial and belies deep, deep problems.
  • The leisurely pace of modern life belies the region's storied past, however.
  • The winged innocence of watercolor belies the reality of bloodied birds.
  • The result is a billowy, rich dessert that belies its simplicity.
  • His average build belies the tough martial arts workouts he puts himself through daily to prepare for the rigors of his obsession.
  • But the acrid content belies the softly beguiling presentation.
  • The solid spruce top helps the guitar achieve a depth of tone that belies its slight dimensions.
  • Each dish belies its simplicity, tasting as if it required slow simmering or many steps.
British Dictionary definitions for belies


verb (transitive) -lies, -lying, -lied
to show to be untrue; contradict
to misrepresent; disguise the nature of: the report belied the real extent of the damage
to fail to justify; disappoint
Derived Forms
belier, noun
Word Origin
Old English belēogan; related to Old Frisian biliuga, Old High German biliugan; see be-, lie1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for belies



Old English beleogan "to deceive by lies," from be- + lie (v.1) "to lie, tell lies." Current sense of "to contradict as a lie" is first recorded 1640s. The other verb lie once also had a formation like this, from Old English belicgan, which meant "to encompass, beleaguer," and in Middle English was a euphemism for "to have sex with" (i.e. "to lie with carnally").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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