Definition of gainsay in English:

gainsay

verb

[WITH OBJECT]formal
  • 1 Deny or contradict (a fact or statement)

    ‘the impact of the railways cannot be gainsaid’
    • ‘Anybody gainsaying General Relativity had best demonstrate an unambiguous reproducible falsification.’
    • ‘In an era in which the very power of national governments of reformist pedigree to deliver reforms is under question, Labour gainsays the question.’
    • ‘In your place, I should not gainsay the truth, but I'd put it in a different and more telling way.…’
    • ‘Whatever problems one might have with military tribunals, is it really possible to gainsay the White House response on this one?’
    • ‘Anything outside those actions is proof one has entered the Iron Bubble, and automatically gainsays the statements of the other side simply because the other side made them.’
    • ‘In the light of the ability to pay the Liquidator the correct account, the claimant's statements have not been gainsaid.’
    • ‘Now, I don't gainsay the need to start the transition process.’
    • ‘No-one can possibly gainsay the need to travel on the railway in safety and it will be difficult to advance an argument against these giants.’
    • ‘From early in her life Kamla is surprised by a contrary inner voice which frequently gainsays the received wisdom of her elders and betters.’
    • ‘Twenty-five years on, who can gainsay their prophetic analysis?’
    • ‘But it is hard to gainsay the fundamental reality that the liberal news media are more firmly in the saddle than ever.’
    • ‘These revisionists could not of course ultimately gainsay the fact that France was defeated.’
    • ‘We may not gainsay the outcome but we can say that if the Commission rules against Deputy Collins the party leadership will have little room for manoeuvre.’
    • ‘It cannot be gainsaid that the digital revolution is here with us.’
    • ‘I'm not denying or gainsaying the fact that one could make a case.’
    • ‘No one truthfully gainsays the importance of professionalism to modern technological progress.’
    • ‘Pundits argue still, but no one gainsays that such involvement and determination created something more than a gestural pastiche.’
    • ‘It is an about-face that gainsays the ground of his achievement.’
    • ‘We do not gainsay any of that, your Honour, and, indeed, the complaint against us is not in connection with the certification process, of course.’
    • ‘Again, it cannot be gainsaid that the greater number of those who hold high places in our poetical literature are absolute nincompoops - fellows alike innocent of reason and of rhyme.’
    deny, dispute, disagree with, argue with, dissent from, contradict, repudiate, declare untrue, challenge, oppose, contest, counter, fly in the face of
    disprove, debunk, explode, discredit, refute, rebut, brush aside
    shoot full of holes
    disaffirm
    controvert, confute
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Speak against or oppose (someone)
      ‘none could gainsay her’
      • ‘So, claim above-average looks yourself, and who is to gainsay you?’
      • ‘And when Father had done investigating into his background found out he was the only son of an earl, and given his tacit approval of the match, how could she gainsay him?’
      • ‘But if it ends up being closer to the 200th year, I would not be around in any case, and I will not be able to have anyone gainsay me.’
      • ‘Legitimate children were subject to the commands of their father, with the mother having no legal right to gainsay him.’
      • ‘So whoever is Home Secretary can define the points at which the IRA is a threat, or a partner in talks or any point in between, and neither we nor the legal system can gainsay him.’
      • ‘The extremist can always argue that he is the better Muslim that the moderate - and no one can gainsay him.’
      • ‘Seeing that there was indeed room, she began to settle in before anyone could gainsay her.’
      • ‘For one thing, it took much, much longer to do; for another, very few directors relished being contradicted or gainsaid.’
      • ‘Now I dance to my own piper and if I want to sleep in I have no master to gainsay me.’
      • ‘My warnings over the last six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me.’
      • ‘He had a hot temper and a weekly column in which he could publicly tear to shreds anyone who dared gainsay him or meddle with his works.’
      • ‘Everyone who believes it is legit will find some way to gainsay the believers.’

Origin

Middle English: from obsolete gain- against + say.

Pronunciation:

gainsay

/ɡeɪnˈseɪ/