- to deny, dispute, or contradict.
- to speak or act against; oppose.
Origin of gainsay
Examples from the Web for gainsay
But it will be a cost, and it will be large -- nobody can gainsay that.You Still Can't Wish Away the Facts on Immigration Amnesty
May 13, 2013
As long as the United States was the economic primus inter pares, those arguments were hard to gainsay.Obama's G-20 Misfire
November 11, 2010
After that it was fit that silence should again intervene, for I could not gainsay him.
I have my own roof, such as it is, and no one to gainsay me under it.
Arthur felt that he was, in some measure, and did not gainsay it.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
This fine deed was soon forgotten, and there are even people who gainsay it.My Double Life
After the invading army had retired, no one will gainsay the sound sense of his behaviour.Agesilaus
- (tr) archaic, or literary to deny (an allegation, a statement, etc); contradict
Word Origin and History for gainsay
"contradict," c.1300, literally "say against," from Old English gegn- "against" (see again) + say (v.). "Solitary survival of a once common prefix" [Weekley], which was used to form such now-obsolete compounds as gain-taking "taking back again," gainclap "a counterstroke," gainbuy "redeem," and gainstand "to oppose." Related: Gainsaid; gainsaying.