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[dih-nahy] /dɪˈnaɪ/
verb (used with object), denied, denying.
to state that (something declared or believed to be true) is not true:
to deny an accusation.
to refuse to agree or accede to:
to deny a petition.
to withhold the possession, use, or enjoyment of:
to deny access to secret information.
to withhold something from, or refuse to grant a request of:
to deny a beggar.
to refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disown; disavow; repudiate:
to deny one's gods.
to withhold (someone) from accessibility to a visitor:
The secretary denied his employer to all those without appointments.
Obsolete. to refuse to take or accept.
deny oneself, to refrain from satisfying one's desires or needs; practice self-denial.
Origin of deny
1250-1300; Middle English denien < Old French denier < Latin dēnegāre. See denegation
Related forms
denyingly, adverb
predeny, verb (used with object), predenied, predenying.
redeny, verb (used with object), redenied, redenying.
undenied, adjective
Can be confused
deny, disapprove, disprove, rebut, refute (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. dispute, controvert, oppose, gainsay. Deny, contradict both imply objecting to or arguing against something. To deny is to say that something is not true: to deny an allegation. To contradict is to declare that the contrary is true: to contradict a statement. 5. renounce, abjure.
1. admit, accept. 3. allow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for deny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As useless to reject her conclusions as to deny the laws and the principles of mathematics!

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • Not a hand was raised—for his worst enemies could not deny that he was temperate and frugal.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • You say that I have exchanged an old for a new religion, but this I deny.

  • This is a record and result that no careful student of our history will, I take it, deny.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since Charles Francis Adams
  • No one at the present day can deny the one-sidedness of his representation.

British Dictionary definitions for deny


verb (transitive) -nies, -nying, -nied
to declare (an assertion, statement, etc) to be untrue: he denied that he had killed her
to reject as false; refuse to accept or believe
to withhold; refuse to give
to refuse to fulfil the requests or expectations of: it is hard to deny a child
to refuse to acknowledge or recognize; disown; disavow: the baron denied his wicked son
to refuse (oneself) things desired
Word Origin
C13: from Old French denier, from Latin dēnegāre, from negāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deny

early 14c., from Old French denoiir "deny, repudiate, withhold," from Latin denegare "to deny, reject, refuse" (source of Italian dinegarre, Spanish denegar), from de- "away" (see de-) + negare "refuse, say 'no,' " from Old Latin nec "not," from Italic base *nek- "not," from PIE root *ne- "no, not" (see un-). Related: Denied; denying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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