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Word of the Day
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Definitions for gainsay

  1. to deny, dispute, or contradict.
  2. to speak or act against; oppose.

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Citations for gainsay
'…What judge shall gainsay that?' He swayed his body round on his motionless and sturdily planted legs, veering upon the Chancellor and the knight in turn, as if he challenged them to gainsay him who had been an attorney for ten years… Ford Madox Ford, The Fifth Queen, 1906
Detractors can question what he stood for; fans can airbrush his legacy… But no one can gainsay his pure will to live in tragic circumstances. Jon Meacham, "Reagan: Why We've Deified The Gipper," Newsweek, December 28, 2003
Origin of gainsay
Gainsay entered English around 1300. As in a number of now-obsolete terms including gaincope, gainstand, and gainturn, the prefix gain- means "against" or "in opposition" in this term.