Definition of deny in US English:


verbdenies, denying, denied

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

    ‘they deny any responsibility for the tragedy’
    • ‘He first denied that he had agreed to support the legislation or that he had attended a meeting with the two.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A federal prosecutor has denied that contention.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He denied that heavy special-purpose vehicles had entered the suburbs and urged the protesters to behave reasonably.’
    • ‘Mr Adlem's evidence was that although a lease on the Chapel of Rest was discussed Mr Adlem denied agreeing to anything.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When he was confronted, he denied that smoking had taken place.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is denied that the Defendant repudiated the alleged or any contract as alleged or at all.’
    • ‘Company executives denied that accusation, the paper reported.’
    • ‘Government officials appear to accept the practice, denying it's widespread.’
    • ‘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 fiercely denied that knowledge, not even wanting to admit it to himself.’
    • ‘He denied under cross-examination that they had broken into the nursery.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although he denied a desire ‘for any larger command,’ there was no doubt that he had himself in mind for overall command.’
    contradict, repudiate, gainsay, declare untrue, dissent from, disagree with, challenge, contest, oppose
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Refuse 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.’
      • ‘Ethiopia faces devastating famine, millions in other parts of the world have no drinking water and global warming is forgotten or denied.’
      • ‘In any case, Lomborg does not deny global climate change.’
      • ‘I suppose I've answered my own question, about why the Right denies climate change.’
      • ‘The only people denying climate change now are the people who are making their money from burning fossil fuels.’
      • ‘Mr Irving has been jailed in Austria for denying the holocaust.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The former president of the Royal Astronomical Society was accused of denying man-made climate change in a column published in a Canadian newspaper.’
  • 2with two objects Refuse to give or grant (something requested or desired) to (someone)

    ‘the inquiry was denied access to intelligence sources’
    • ‘In summary, specialty toy stores cannot compete on prices, so they will agree to deny the product to their discount rivals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Today people who could have been attracted to a professional or working environment not dedicated to profit are denied that option.’
    • ‘In other words, it was browbeaten and the institute was denied what was agreed under that deed of settlement.’
    • ‘Some within industry may even find that access is denied due to confidentiality agreements or licensing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our request for this very basic information was denied on privacy grounds.’
    • ‘There have also been a number of cases where membership has been denied on technical grounds, they added.’
    • ‘Mr Riordan has claimed these orders effectively deny him access to the courts.’
    • ‘‘There are genuine refugees who want to work but are being denied that,’ he said.’
    • ‘In the scene, she repeatedly denied his advances, and was angry that he was still following her.’
    • ‘He said: ‘There are a number of people who would love to rent private or council property and they are being denied that right.’’
    • ‘‘It hurts me to deny people access to their home,’ he said.’
    • ‘Ron Sekura opposed the motion of denying the application, he did express interest in helping the club find an alternate site.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They should not be denied that opportunity, plus a chance to find a better life while rebuilding their region.’
    • ‘Sending people to casualty and denying people access to shelters was and is and will always be the domain of the political directorate.’
    refuse, turn down, reject, rebuff, repulse, decline, veto, dismiss
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1deny oneself Refrain from satisfying oneself.
      ‘there was no way that I was going to deny myself ice cream’
      • ‘‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Quite often, elderly people spend their money on their relatives and deny themselves things they could do with.’
      • ‘It's a decision to deny ourselves the thoughts, desires, and actions that feed the old life within us.’
      • ‘It's a shame, because you do not know the culinary delights you are denying yourself.’
      • ‘What is the point of denying yourself food and drink for over half a day?’
      • ‘In that city was the opportunity for glory, and no man could deny the greedy desire for glory.’
      • ‘Without such a pledge, there remains little justification for non-nuclear states to deny themselves the procurement of nuclear weapons.’
      • ‘On several crucial occasions, opposition players have spilled the ball metres from the goal line, denying themselves a deserved victory.’
      • ‘And in Juliet we find a Chinoy woman, who in her desire to conform to social expectations, denies herself choices and voice.’
      • ‘Cutting out favourite snacks leads many children to binge on the foods they have been denying themselves, Harvard Medical School researchers found.’
      • ‘You just need to ask yourself what the payoff is and deny yourself that payoff.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As you might imagine, they've shown remarkable restraint in that regard, refusing to deny themselves a raise for five straight years.’
      • ‘I realise now that I was deliberately denying myself painting when I stopped doing it for those three years.’
      • ‘I don't think you can deny yourself one of the important foods.’
      • ‘We're the ones who are denying ourselves health care coverage by refusing to pay taxes.’
      • ‘Do not deny yourself the pleasure that is chocolate but if you must - send yours to me.’
      • ‘Why are you even bothering when, after months of denying yourself food, you still look the same?’
    2. 2.2archaic 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’.