Basic+ Word of the Day: deny

deny (verb) past tense: denied LISTEN

To deny is to state that something is not true.

  • Andrew denied eating the last cookie, although there were crumbs on his shirt.
  • Lucy denied that she knew who robbed the bank.

To deny also means ‘to refused to give something to someone.’

  • I can never deny my children anything when they ask nicely.
  • Bill couldn't remember his password, so his access to the computer application was denied.

To deny is also to refuse to accept or approve something.

  • The bank denied their application for a loan.

Related words

Denial is the act of denying. It also means that you don’t accept something that is true. In English there is a famous phrase, “Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.” Do you understand the joke?

In pop culture

Here’s a recording of Lisa Stansfield singing, “You Can’t Deny It.”

There are other meanings of deny.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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