Definition of denial in English:



  • 1The action of declaring something to be untrue.

    ‘she shook her head in denial’
    • ‘I tried on clothes that actually fit me and felt comfortable instead of living in denial and trying on clothing that depressed me when I couldn't get the pants above my thighs.’
    • ‘Of course, the Government denies that its proposed denial of unfair dismissal remedies to small business employees is simply a political tactic.’
    • ‘As you can see, I'm still in denial about my lack of a garbage disposal.’
    • ‘I had been in denial that anyone could be cruel enough to deny the connection between father and child.’
    • ‘He denies he is in denial about his performance, and says his confidence is not shaken.’
    • ‘And I think they a little in denial of facing reality.’
    • ‘When it comes to ageing, we're in denial - hence the desperate makeovers to shave away the years with Botox, liposuction, cosmetic dentistry, nips and tucks.’
    • ‘And now all of a sudden he's checked himself into drug rehab for 30 days, and we know that it's going to take much more than that, that he's been in denial.’
    • ‘The actual distinction isn't so much between informed versus uninformed as between in denial and not in denial.’
    • ‘The ardent supporters are still in denial about their candidates' chances, but that's only because they're unusually dimwitted.’
    • ‘At least I'm not in denial about being in denial, right?’
    • ‘And they said it's coming to you, but you're in denial.’
    • ‘‘Self-mutilation is a behavior so shocking and cloaked in denial that it is almost never discussed'.’
    • ‘Professional boxing has remained in denial that the loss of brainpower that so visibly and pitiably afflicts the boxer has nothing to do with the punches he traded for glory and profit for so long.’
    • ‘Simply closing one's eyes and pretending it isn't looming, despite all the available evidence to those who want to look for it, is an exercise in denial and wishful thinking.’
    • ‘And as you already noted, a lot of people are in denial and the real question is how long does it go on before the economists and the policy makers acknowledge that we do have a problem.’
    • ‘Here is a woman so deep in denial that pathological is the only serviceable adjective appropriate for such an irrational rant.’
    • ‘This patient may be in denial about his hearing loss, or he may, as his daughter suspects, be depressed and withdrawn.’
    • ‘I feel sorry for him because he's still in denial.’
    • ‘And, though, you know, I saw some very visible changes in him, you know, he was so very much at that time in denial about what he had done to me and the magnitude of how bad it was.’
    contradiction, counterstatement, refutation, rebuttal, repudiation, disclaimer, retraction, abjuration
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    1. 1.1The refusal of something requested or desired.
      ‘the denial of insurance to people with certain medical conditions’
      • ‘Then come the Insurance companies with their denial of the rightful dues to assurers.’
      • ‘Since I have sworn, as have they, to uphold and defend that Covenant, I must respectfully concur in the denial of the request.’
      • ‘Forty-eight percent of those with health insurance experience problems with their plans - denial or delay of service being the most frequent.’
      • ‘The denial of her desire, and thus the denial of her voice, generates the type of silence that we so often find is the seed for oppression.’
      • ‘Thus the ‘treatment’ in question was the refusal of support combined with the denial of the right to work.’
      • ‘What is unnatural is the denial to me of the potential to fulfill those desires.’
      • ‘He asserted that his denial in the pre-trial answers to the Defendants' request for information of any association with the alliance was true.’
      • ‘Another obstacle to alcohol screening is concern about denial of insurance coverage if screening information appears in a patient's record.’
      • ‘On Friday his lawyer attended a court hearing, and there will be a ruling tomorrow on his request to insert his personal denial into the pages of the book.’
      • ‘Delay in getting people their unemployment and the health insurance coverage they need while they're unemployed is denial.’
      • ‘Of course, the reality is that white communities were never faced with the systematic denial of bank loans and insurance necessary to build a middle class life in a community.’
      • ‘When denial resulted in a patient's refusal to develop these skills, we had to intervene.’
      • ‘The report says the board's panel was clear that the mere denial of guilt could not, of itself, justify refusal of a progressive move through the system, including eventual release.’
      • ‘The outcome, as mentioned in Jessica Johnston's article, was denial of access to the requested documents.’
      refusal, withholding, withdrawal
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    2. 1.2A statement that something is not true.
      ‘official denials’
      ‘his denial that he was having an affair’
      • ‘Allegations were followed by admissions that were followed by denials and recanting.’
      • ‘If anything, any denials from him only seemed to reinforce those beliefs.’
      • ‘They emerged from a police station to detail the lurid allegations and their vehement denials.’
      • ‘I had no evidence, and would get denials or no comment if I questioned the alleged lovers.’
      • ‘Residents reacted with fury to police denials of any responsibility.’
      • ‘There have been insinuations, accusations, denials and counter-accusations.’
      • ‘Spiritual doctrines do not actually limit the mind as do materialistic denials.’
      • ‘One bunch of journalists flinging accusations around while others issue the outraged denials.’
      • ‘The unrest was sparked by the death of two boys whom locals think were fleeing police, despite official denials.’
      • ‘They should not be fobbed off with a diet of misleading statements and official denials.’
      • ‘There is a three-member court of review to hear appeals of denials of applications.’
      • ‘That's far from the final word in this story of secrets and denials and no comments.’
      • ‘The weight to be given by the jury to the appellant's denials and assertions was a matter for them.’
      • ‘So it boils down to his word against the vehement denials by the government officials.’
      • ‘When their portents and prophecies fail there are excuses and denials.’
      • ‘The extended contract and mass denials of his leaving gave it some stability.’
      • ‘His later e-mails found their way into the Mail and repeated denials of government officials were shown to be false.’
      • ‘The denials and expressions of disbelief and even disgust were therefore a bit of a surprise.’
      • ‘They have destroyed any trust they had by engaging in obfuscations, spin doctoring and denials at every turn.’
      • ‘He was arrested in April and maintained his denials even after he had been picked out by the boy during identification procedures.’
      contradiction, counterstatement, refutation, rebuttal, repudiation, disclaimer, retraction, abjuration
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    3. 1.3Psychology Failure to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or emotion or to admit it into consciousness, used as a defense mechanism.
      ‘you're living in denial’
      • ‘Some people have also referred to this approach as the ‘ostrich’ approach as often it involves the use of defence mechanisms such as denial and repression.’
      • ‘When an addict is in denial, he projects his anger onto everyone but himself, and especially upon anyone brave enough to tell him the truth.’
      • ‘What may be perceived as a temperamental rejection of care or a psychologically based denial of illness may be a biologically based element of the illness itself.’
      • ‘Millions of Americans are in denial about their drug use and should seek treatment, according to a 2001 survey.’
      • ‘Offering medications to patients in denial of their illness means that they have to confront their worst nightmare and acknowledge that they are very sick.’
    4. 1.4
      short for self-denial
    5. 1.5Disavowal of a person as one's leader.
      • ‘The opening scene sets the stage for the denial episode at the end of the passage and encases the mockery of law in the center.’
      • ‘The Denial of Saint Peter is a painting finished around 1610 by the Italian painter Caravaggio.’