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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 denying
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I do not believe in denying its force, or running away in an opposite direction.

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • He felt that he was doing no wrong in denying being a spy, to a British soldier.

    The Dare Boys of 1776 Stephen Angus Cox
  • Error with regard to facts may be committed in two ways—by admitting as facts what are not facts, and by denying facts.

  • They do not go to the length of denying the pre-existence of ideas.

    Phaedo Plato
  • Burrell made the best reply he could, without confirming or denying the inference drawn from his early rising.

    The Buccaneer Mrs. S. C. Hall
British Dictionary definitions for denying


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 denying



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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