Definition of deny in English:



  • 1[with object] State that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of.

    ‘both firms deny any responsibility for the tragedy’
    • ‘A federal prosecutor has denied that contention.’
    • ‘I went to the movie with pure enjoyment as my goal, but I couldn't deny a desire to see if a theme from the first two movies would carry through to the third.’
    • ‘He denied under cross-examination that they had broken into the nursery.’
    • ‘Although he denied a desire ‘for any larger command,’ there was no doubt that he had himself in mind for overall command.’
    • ‘Company executives denied that accusation, the paper reported.’
    • ‘He fiercely denied that knowledge, not even wanting to admit it to himself.’
    • ‘Whilst it cannot be denied that vitamins are essential to the human body, the level of intake and amounts that an individual human body may require varies widely.’
    • ‘Last week O'Malley issued a statement denying any involvement in the statement's alteration.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the immigration and naturalisation service, Kerry Gill, denied that publicity influenced handling of the case.’
    • ‘It is one thing to acknowledge that the human mind can glimpse truth only as through a glass darkly; and quite another to deny the existence of truth altogether.’
    • ‘It is denied that the Defendant repudiated the alleged or any contract as alleged or at all.’
    • ‘She denied that groupism prevailed in the state unit of the party, adding that a difference of opinion of intra-party issue was bound to happen in a national party.’
    • ‘He denied that heavy special-purpose vehicles had entered the suburbs and urged the protesters to behave reasonably.’
    • ‘For the company, Fred Philpott denied that low staffing levels contributed to food not being removed from the shelves when past its ‘use by’ date.’
    • ‘Mr Adlem's evidence was that although a lease on the Chapel of Rest was discussed Mr Adlem denied agreeing to anything.’
    • ‘Government officials appear to accept the practice, denying it's widespread.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the Chief Executive's office denied that Wednesday was a date offered to the party, saying it was only chosen by the party.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He first denied that he had agreed to support the legislation or that he had attended a meeting with the two.’
    • ‘When he was confronted, he denied that smoking had taken place.’
    contradict, repudiate, gainsay, declare untrue, dissent from, disagree with, challenge, contest, oppose
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    1. 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’
      • ‘Some people deny the holocaust, others assert it happened as a matter of undeniable fact.’
      • ‘Only four years ago it was considered completely mainstream, centrist thinking to oppose stem cell research, reject nuclear proliferation schemes, and deny global warming.’
      • ‘If anybody still denies global warming let them come and stew in the steam bath that is London this week.’
      • ‘In any case, Lomborg does not deny global climate change.’
      • ‘The only people denying climate change now are the people who are making their money from burning fossil fuels.’
      • ‘I suppose I've answered my own question, about why the Right denies climate change.’
      • ‘Mr Irving has been jailed in Austria for denying the holocaust.’
      • ‘Ethiopia faces devastating famine, millions in other parts of the world have no drinking water and global warming is forgotten or denied.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘There have also been a number of cases where membership has been denied on technical grounds, they added.’
    • ‘He said: ‘There are a number of people who would love to rent private or council property and they are being denied that right.’’
    • ‘Mr Riordan has claimed these orders effectively deny him access to the courts.’
    • ‘They can also develop financing arrangements that ensure that people are not denied access to the care they want and need because of their income.’
    • ‘Sending people to casualty and denying people access to shelters was and is and will always be the domain of the political directorate.’
    • ‘In the scene, she repeatedly denied his advances, and was angry that he was still following her.’
    • ‘This product warns you about tracking software and lets you grant or deny permission to those programs.’
    • ‘O'Neill was denied that unexpected luxury by circumstances outwith his control.’
    • ‘Some within industry may even find that access is denied due to confidentiality agreements or licensing.’
    • ‘‘There are genuine refugees who want to work but are being denied that,’ he said.’
    • ‘In other words, it was browbeaten and the institute was denied what was agreed under that deed of settlement.’
    • ‘They should not be denied that opportunity, plus a chance to find a better life while rebuilding their region.’
    • ‘It is absurd to deny people access to their own money which has been compulsorily channelled into some poorly managed scheme, when they could be progressing towards home ownership.’
    • ‘Today people who could have been attracted to a professional or working environment not dedicated to profit are denied that option.’
    • ‘In summary, specialty toy stores cannot compete on prices, so they will agree to deny the product to their discount rivals.’
    • ‘Ron Sekura opposed the motion of denying the application, he did express interest in helping the club find an alternate site.’
    • ‘Our request for this very basic information was denied on privacy grounds.’
    • ‘‘It hurts me to deny people access to their home,’ he said.’
    • ‘When a contract with the federation was agreed upon, it denied retroactive benefits to members of this striking union, even members like the applicants, who did not take part in the strike.’
    • ‘His mother said he blew up because he's been in solitary confinement and has been repeatedly denied bail - and the stress is getting to him.’
    refuse, turn down, reject, rebuff, repulse, decline, veto, dismiss
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    1. 2.1Refuse to let oneself have something that one desires.
      ‘he had denied himself sexually for years’
      • ‘And in Juliet we find a Chinoy woman, who in her desire to conform to social expectations, denies herself choices and voice.’
      • ‘Quite often, elderly people spend their money on their relatives and deny themselves things they could do with.’
      • ‘I try to curb my spending sometimes, but on the other hand I don't believe there's any point in denying yourself and piling up your money.’
      • ‘I realise now that I was deliberately denying myself painting when I stopped doing it for those three years.’
      • ‘Cutting out favourite snacks leads many children to binge on the foods they have been denying themselves, Harvard Medical School researchers found.’
      • ‘As the play progresses, one comes face to face with one's self, the self that has denied itself the fulfilment of its own desires.’
      • ‘On several crucial occasions, opposition players have spilled the ball metres from the goal line, denying themselves a deserved victory.’
      • ‘Individuals are trying, by denying themselves the luxury of forgetting about their acts, to spare other the agony of having to commit them at some time in the future.’
      • ‘It's a decision to deny ourselves the thoughts, desires, and actions that feed the old life within us.’
      • ‘As you might imagine, they've shown remarkable restraint in that regard, refusing to deny themselves a raise for five straight years.’
      • ‘You just need to ask yourself what the payoff is and deny yourself that payoff.’
      • ‘In that city was the opportunity for glory, and no man could deny the greedy desire for glory.’
      • ‘‘How well those live who are comfortably and thoroughly in debt,’ wrote Thackeray in Vanity Fair, ‘how they deny themselves nothing; how jolly and easy they are in their minds.’’
      • ‘It's a shame, because you do not know the culinary delights you are denying yourself.’
      • ‘Why are you even bothering when, after months of denying yourself food, you still look the same?’
      • ‘What is the point of denying yourself food and drink for over half a day?’
      • ‘Do not deny yourself the pleasure that is chocolate but if you must - send yours to me.’
      • ‘I don't think you can deny yourself one of the important foods.’
      • ‘Without such a pledge, there remains little justification for non-nuclear states to deny themselves the procurement of nuclear weapons.’
      • ‘We're the ones who are denying ourselves health care coverage by refusing to pay taxes.’
    2. 2.2archaic [with object]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.