- 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.
- refusal to believe a doctrine, theory, or the like.
- disbelief in the existence or reality of a thing.
- the refusal to satisfy a claim, request, desire, etc., or the refusal of a person making it.
- refusal to recognize or acknowledge; a disowning or disavowal: the traitor's denial of his country; Peter's denial of Christ.
- 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.
- sacrifice of one's own wants or needs; self-denial.
- Psychology. an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable.
Origin of denial
SynonymsSee more synonyms for denial on Thesaurus.com
1. disavowal, disclaimer, repudiation.
1. admission, acknowledgment, confession.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for denial
This is a case where delay is denial—with potentially deadly results.My Insurance Company Killed Me, Despite Obamacare
November 24, 2014
About 300,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, and their relationship to the state is an almost perfect dance of denial.After the Israel Synagogue Massacre: A New Intifada?
November 19, 2014
“Mr. Mitchell thus controls both your management company and your lessor,” the IRS wrote in a denial letter.At This Creepy Libertarian Charter School, Kids Must Swear ‘to Be Obedient to Those in Authority’
October 15, 2014
Ignorance on their part and denial on ours does nobody any favors.Sexting Is the New ‘First Base’
October 9, 2014
A recent column by Nia-Malika Henderson is emblematic of this denial.No, 'Acting White' Has Not Been Debunked
September 4, 2014
He bent closer to his companion, and spoke with a fierce intensity that brooked no denial.
Burke shook his head emphatically in denial of the allegation.
Napoleon looked at his uncle the canon with indignation and denial on his face.The Boy Life of Napoleon
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.Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2
- a refusal to agree or comply with a statement; contradiction
- the rejection of the truth of a proposition, doctrine, etca denial of God's existence
- a negative reply; rejection of a request
- a refusal to acknowledge; renunciation; disavowala denial of one's leader
- a psychological process by which painful truths are not admitted into an individual's consciousnessSee also defence mechanism
- abstinence; self-denial
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.