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denial

[dih-nahy-uh l]
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noun
  1. an assertion that something said, believed, alleged, etc., is false: Despite his denials, we knew he had taken the purse. The politician issued a denial of his opponent's charges.
  2. refusal to believe a doctrine, theory, or the like.
  3. disbelief in the existence or reality of a thing.
  4. the refusal to satisfy a claim, request, desire, etc., or the refusal of a person making it.
  5. refusal to recognize or acknowledge; a disowning or disavowal: the traitor's denial of his country; Peter's denial of Christ.
  6. Law. refusal to acknowledge the validity of a claim, suit, or the like; a plea that denies allegations of fact in an adversary's plea: Although she sued for libel, he entered a general denial.
  7. sacrifice of one's own wants or needs; self-denial.
  8. Psychology. an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable.
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Origin of denial

First recorded in 1520–30; deny + -al2
Related formsnon·de·ni·al, nounpre·de·ni·al, adjectivere·de·ni·al, noun

Synonyms

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1. disavowal, disclaimer, repudiation.

Antonyms

1. admission, acknowledgment, confession.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for denial

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He bent closer to his companion, and spoke with a fierce intensity that brooked no denial.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Burke shook his head emphatically in denial of the allegation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Napoleon looked at his uncle the canon with indignation and denial on his face.

  • I can't say whether she considered him an answer to her prayer, or a denial of it.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • An excuse, instead of a denial, was the gentlest answer I received.


British Dictionary definitions for denial

denial

noun
  1. a refusal to agree or comply with a statement; contradiction
  2. the rejection of the truth of a proposition, doctrine, etca denial of God's existence
  3. a negative reply; rejection of a request
  4. a refusal to acknowledge; renunciation; disavowala denial of one's leader
  5. a psychological process by which painful truths are not admitted into an individual's consciousnessSee also defence mechanism
  6. abstinence; self-denial
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for denial

n.

1520s; see deny + -al (2). Replaced earlier denyance (mid-15c.). Meaning "unconscious suppression of painful or embarrassing feelings" first attested 1914 in A.A. Brill's translation of Freud's "Psychopathology of Everyday Life"; phrase in denial popularized 1980s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

denial in Medicine

denial

(dĭ-nīəl)
n.
  1. An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.