View synonyms for denial


[ dih-nahy-uhl ]


  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.

    Synonyms: repudiation, disclaimer, disavowal

    Antonyms: confession, acknowledgment, admission

  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.


/ dɪˈnaɪəl /


  1. a refusal to agree or comply with a statement; contradiction
  2. the rejection of the truth of a proposition, doctrine, etc

    a denial of God's existence

  3. a negative reply; rejection of a request
  4. a refusal to acknowledge; renunciation; disavowal

    a denial of one's leader

  5. a psychological process by which painful truths are not admitted into an individual's consciousness See also defence mechanism
  6. abstinence; self-denial

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Other Words From

  • nonde·nial noun
  • prede·nial adjective
  • rede·nial noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of denial1

First recorded in 1520–30; deny + -al 2

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Example Sentences

What should be open and shut — an airtight case of inciting an insurrection — has become yet another exercise in disingenuous denial.

The managers, as they indicated, will therefore urge the senators to make the “adverse inference” that his denials laid out in his defense brief are false.

Bryant said the city plans to apply for another round of relief money, probably early this year, but he worries about another denial.

He’s in denial, or out of sorts, or thinking he’ll get around to it eventually, or whatever.

One of the ways we push away that knowledge is with straight-up denial.

But what can be done, if climate denial is, in part, a religious belief?

But if religious beliefs are fueling climate denial, then religious approaches are necessary to oppose it.

A better taxonomy would break us up by words like Acceptance, Partial Denial, and Total Denial.

This is a case where delay is denial—with potentially deadly results.

About 300,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, and their relationship to the state is an almost perfect dance of denial.

"I should judge your hens ain't layin' well, figurin' on the size of the basket," said the old man, ignoring her denial.

And she saw at once that he had done nothing of the sort; saw it without any more decisive denial.

A stronger man would have fought against odds like those and won for himself a place that would suffer no denial.

But valiant as their denial, the Chesters watched the surveyors depart with sore misgivings.

Infidels feel the power of this manifestation of God in His word; and are driven to every possible denial of the fact.