[ni-gey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for negation on
  1. the act of denying: He shook his head in negation of the charge.
  2. a denial: a negation of one's former beliefs.
  3. something that is without existence; nonentity.
  4. the absence or opposite of something that is actual, positive, or affirmative: Darkness is the negation of light.
  5. a negative statement, idea, concept, doctrine, etc.; a contradiction, refutation, or rebuttal: a shameless lie that demands a negation.

Origin of negation

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin negātiōn- (stem of negātiō) denial. See negate, -ion
Related formsne·ga·tion·al, adjectivene·ga·tion·ist, nounnon·ne·ga·tion, nounre·ne·ga·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for negation

Contemporary Examples of negation

Historical Examples of negation

  • And always, in response to every argument, Mary shook her head in negation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • There was a masterful quality in his declaration, which seemed to ignore her negation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Garson reflected for a few seconds, then made a gesture of negation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Mrs Verloc simply turned her face from right to left in sign of negation.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • They presented no one front, for their negation was no one faith.

    The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI

    Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies

British Dictionary definitions for negation


  1. the opposite or absence of something
  2. a negative thing or condition
  3. the act or an instance of negating
  4. logic
    1. the operator that forms one sentence from another and corresponds to the English not
    2. a sentence so formed. It is usually written –p, ~p, ̄p or ⇁ p, where p is the given sentence, and is false when the given sentence is true, and true when it is false
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 negation

early 15c., from Old French negacion (12c.) and directly from Latin negationem (nominative negatio) "denial," noun of action from past participle stem of negare "deny, say no" (see deny).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

negation in Medicine


  1. A denial, contradiction, or negative statement.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.