Definition of deny in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈnʌɪ/

verb (denies, denying, denied)

1 [with object] State that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of: both firms deny any responsibility for the tragedy
More example sentences
  • It is denied that the Defendant repudiated the alleged or any contract as alleged or at all.
  • Rumours that he had been suspended swept across the centre two weeks ago, but the shopping centre's management company refused to admit or deny the claims.
  • A federal prosecutor has denied that contention.
contradict, repudiate, gainsay, declare untrue, dissent from, disagree with, challenge, contest, oppose;
retract, take back, back-pedal;
disprove, debunk, explode, discredit, refute, rebut, invalidate, negate, nullify, quash
informal shoot full of holes, shoot down (in flames)
Law  disaffirm
rare controvert, confute, negative
1.1Refuse to admit the truth of (a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence): an anti-environmentalist campaign group that denies climate change
More example sentences
  • I suppose I've answered my own question, about why the Right denies climate change.
  • In any case, Lomborg does not deny global climate change.
  • The former president of the Royal Astronomical Society was accused of denying man-made climate change in a column published in a Canadian newspaper.
2 [with two objects] Refuse to give (something requested or desired) to (someone): the inquiry was denied access to intelligence sources
More example sentences
  • O'Neill was denied that unexpected luxury by circumstances outwith his control.
  • He said: ‘There are a number of people who would love to rent private or council property and they are being denied that right.’
  • In summary, specialty toy stores cannot compete on prices, so they will agree to deny the product to their discount rivals.
refuse, turn down, reject, rebuff, repulse, decline, veto, dismiss
informal knock back, give the thumbs down to, give the red light to, give the brush-off to
2.1 (deny oneself) Refuse to let oneself have something that one desires: he had denied himself sexually for years
More example sentences
  • As you might imagine, they've shown remarkable restraint in that regard, refusing to deny themselves a raise for five straight years.
  • It's a decision to deny ourselves the thoughts, desires, and actions that feed the old life within us.
  • We're the ones who are denying ourselves health care coverage by refusing to pay taxes.
2.2 [with object] archaic Refuse access to (someone): the servants are ordered to deny him


Middle English: from Old French deni-, stressed stem of deneier, from Latin denegare, from de- 'formally' + negare 'say no'.

  • negative from Late Middle English:

    Negative comes from Latin negare ‘to deny’, a Middle English word from the same source. The photographic negative dates from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with deny

ally, Altai, apply, assai, awry, ay, aye, Baha'i, belie, bi, Bligh, buy, by, bye, bye-bye, chi, Chiangmai, Ciskei, comply, cry, Cy, Dai, defy, Di, die, do-or-die, dry, Dubai, dye, espy, eye, fie, fly, forbye, fry, Frye, goodbye (US goodby), guy, hereby, hi, hie, high, I, imply, I-spy, July, kai, lie, lye, Mackay, misapply, my, nearby, nigh, Nye, outfly, passer-by, phi, pi, pie, ply, pry, psi, Qinghai, rai, rely, rocaille, rye, scry, serai, shanghai, shy, sigh, sky, Skye, sky-high, sly, spin-dry, spry, spy, sty, Sukhotai, supply, Tai, Thai, thereby, thigh, thy, tie, Transkei, try, tumble-dry, underlie, Versailles, Vi, vie, whereby, why, wry, Wye, xi, Xingtai, Yantai

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: deny

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