What does denial mean?

Definitions for denial
dɪˈnaɪ əlde·nial

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word denial.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. denialnoun

    the act of refusing to comply (as with a request)

    "it resulted in a complete denial of his privileges"

  2. denial, disaffirmationnoun

    the act of asserting that something alleged is not true

  3. denialnoun

    (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts

  4. abnegation, self-abnegation, denial, self-denial, self-renunciationnoun

    renunciation of your own interests in favor of the interests of others

  5. defense, defence, denial, demurrernoun

    a defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges against him

    "he gave evidence for the defense"


  1. denialnoun

    The negation in logic

    The denial of "There might be X" is the null, "False, there is no X."

  2. denialnoun

    A refusal to comply with a request.

    Every time we asked for an interview we got a denial.

  3. denialnoun

    An assertion of untruth

    The singer has issued a sweeping denial of all the rumors.

  4. denialnoun

    Refusal to believe a problem exists

    We couldn't break through his denial about being alcoholic.

  5. denialnoun

    A defense mechanism involving a refusal to accept the truth of a phenomenon or prospect.

    He is in denial that he has a drinking problem.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Denialnoun

    Etymology: from deny.

    No man more impudent to deny, where proofs were not manifest; no man more ready to confess, with a repenting manner of aggravating his own evil, where denial would but make the fault fouler. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    Here comes your father; never make denial:
    I must and will have Catharine to my wife. William Shakespeare.

    The denial of landing, and hasty warning us away, troubled us much: on the other side, to find people so full of humanity, did comfort us. Francis Bacon, New Atlantis.

    He, at every fresh attempt, is repell’d
    With faint denials, weaker than before. John Dryden, Ann. Mir.

    We may deny God in all those acts that are capable of being morally good or evil: those are the proper scenes, in which we act our confessions or denials of him. Robert South, Sermons.


  1. Denial

    Denial, in ordinary English usage, has at least three meanings: asserting that any particular statement or allegation is not true (which might be accurate or inaccurate); the refusal of a request; and asserting that a true statement is not true. In psychology, denialism is a person's choice to deny reality as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth. In psychoanalytic theory, denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The concept of denial is important in twelve-step programs where the abandonment or reversal of denial that substance dependence is problematic forms the basis of the first, fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth steps. People who are exhibiting symptoms of a serious medical condition sometimes deny or ignore those symptoms because the idea of having a serious health problem is uncomfortable or disturbing. The American Heart Association cites denial as a principal reason that treatment of a heart attack is delayed. Because the symptoms are so varied, and often have other potential explanations, the opportunity exists for the patient to deny the emergency, often with fatal consequences. It is common for patients to delay recommended mammograms or other tests because of a fear of cancer, even though on average this worsens the long-term medical outcome.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Denialnoun

    the act of gainsaying, refusing, or disowning; negation; -- the contrary of affirmation

  2. Denialnoun

    a refusal to admit the truth of a statement, charge, imputation, etc.; assertion of the untruth of a thing stated or maintained; a contradiction

  3. Denialnoun

    a refusal to grant; rejection of a request

  4. Denialnoun

    a refusal to acknowledge; disclaimer of connection with; disavowal; -- the contrary of confession; as, the denial of a fault charged on one; a denial of God

  5. Etymology: [See Deny.]


  1. Denial

    Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true. The same word, and also abnegation, is used for a psychological defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may use: ⁕simple denial: deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether ⁕minimisation: admit the fact but deny its seriousness ⁕projection: admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility by blaming somebody or something else. The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction. The theory of denial was first researched seriously by Anna Freud. She classified denial as a mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality. Where denial occurs in mature minds, it is most often associated with death, dying and rape. More recent research has significantly expanded the scope and utility of the concept. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross used denial as the first of five stages in the psychology of a dying patient, and the idea has been extended to include the reactions of survivors to news of a death. Thus, when parents are informed of the death of a child, their first reaction is often of the form, "No! You must have the wrong house, you can't mean our child!"

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Denial

    de-nī′al, n. act of denying or saying no: contradiction: refusal: rejection.—adj. Denī′able, that may be denied.—n. Denī′er, one who denies.

Anagrams for denial »

  1. Aldine

  2. alined

  3. Daniel

  4. daniel

  5. deal in

  6. dealin'

  7. enlaid

  8. inlead

  9. lead-in

  10. nailed

  11. enalid

  12. leadin

  13. delian

How to pronounce denial?

How to say denial in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of denial in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of denial in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of denial in a Sentence

  1. James Hart:

    She turned over one morning and said, ‘I think you might be gay,’ and I was very defensive and in denial in some deep way. But then we began to explore together and see what we could find out together and see if we could have a marriage that could last through that news. We tried very hard, more credit to her than me because she wasn’t frightened like I was. She wasn’t afraid of it… One of the wonders of Carly is her insistence on truth in a rather vigorous way.

  2. Commerce Department:

    Items uniquely required to produce semiconductors at advanced technology nodes — 10 nanometers or below — will be subject to a presumption of denial to prevent such key enabling technology from supporting China's military-civil fusion efforts.

  3. Fox News:

    I was in denial about it for a long time, here I am this objective journalist, I can’t be having these feelings…but after he went to prison, it was a shock to my system.

  4. Chuck Schumer:

    First, I don't believe the meeting should take place but if it is going to happen, President Trump must press Putin hard on the issue of election interference. He can't simply raise it, accept Putin's denial and then let him off the hook, second, the President must demand that the 12 Russians named in the indictment be sent to the U.S. to stand trial. And third, President Trump should not agree to weaken, lift, or curtail any of the sanctions on Russia.

  5. Paul Blanco:

    The only thing I can remember is kind of like my ears starting to ring, denial. Just like not being able to believe it.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for denial

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for denial »


Find a translation for the denial definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these denial definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "denial." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/denial>.

    Are we missing a good definition for denial? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    destroy completely
    • A. observe
    • B. embark
    • C. demolish
    • D. depend

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for denial: