tr.v. de·nied, de·ny·ing, de·nies
1. To declare untrue; assert to be false: "A senior officer denied that any sensitive documents had been stored there" (Scott Ritter).
2. To refuse to believe; reject: deny the existence of evil spirits.
3. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disavow: The official denied any wrongdoing.
a. To decline to grant or allow; refuse: deny the student's request; denied the prisoner food or water.
b. To give a refusal to; turn down or away: The protesters were determined not to be denied.
c. To restrain (oneself) especially from indulgence in pleasures.
[Middle English denien, from Old French denier, from Latin dēnegāre : dē-, de- + negāre, to say no; see ne in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: deny, contradict, gainsay
These verbs mean to refuse to admit the existence, truth, or value of: denied the rumor; contradicted the statement; trying to gainsay the evidence.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.