English [ edit ]
Alternative forms [ edit ]
Pronunciation [ edit ]
Etymology 1 [ edit ]
Middle English , belyen , from beliggen Old English , belicgan bilicgan ( “ to lie around, surround, hedge in, encompass ” ). Equivalent to be- ( “ around, by ” ) + lie ( “ to be positioned ” ).
belie ( third-person singular simple present , belies present participle , belying simple past , belay past participle )
( transitive , obsolete ) To lie around; encompass. ( transitive , obsolete , of an army ) To surround; beleaguer.
Etymology 2 [ edit ]
Middle English , belyen , from beleoȝen Old English belēogan ( “ to deceive by lying, be mistaken ” ), from Proto-West Germanic *bileugan ( “ to belie ” ). Equivalent to be- ( “ about ” ) + lie ( “ to deceive ” ). Compare Dutch beliegen ( “ to lie about, tell lies ” ), German belügen ( “ to tell a lie ” ).
belie ( third-person singular simple present , belies present participle , belying simple past and past participle )
( transitive , archaic ) To tell lies about. [from 13th c.]
Synonyms: , slander calumniate c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “ The First Part of Henry the Fourth,”, in [ … ] Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies ( [ … ] First Folio), London: [ … ] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, , [Act I, scene iii], OCLC 606515358 page 51: Thou do’ſt bely him Percy, thou doſt bely him; / He never did encounter with Glendower:
( transitive ) To give a false representation of. [from 17th c.]
1595 December 9 (first known performance), [William Shakespeare], (First Quarto), London: The Tragedie of King Richard the Second. [ … ] [ … ] Valentine Simmes for Androw Wise, [ … ] , published 1597, , OCLC 213833262 [Act II, scene ii]: Should I do ſo I ſhould bely my thoughts, / Comfort's in heauen, and we are on the earth [… ]
c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “ The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies ( [ … ] First Folio), London: [ … ] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, , [Act III, scene iv], OCLC 606515358 page 12, column 1: Pand. Lady, you vtter madneſſe, and not ſorrow. Con. Thou art [not] holy to belye me ſo, I am not mad: This haire I teare is mine
1638, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], , 5th edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed [by Robert Young, Miles Flesher, and Leonard Lichfield and William Turner] for Henry Cripps, The Anatomy of Melancholy. [ … ] , partition II, section 2, member 6, subsection iv, OCLC 932915040 page 198: He found it by experience, and made good uſe of it in his owne perſon, if Plutarch bely him not [… ] .
2013 April 3, Patrick Heenan, The Southeast Asia Handbook , Taylor & Francis,  , page 132: →ISBN Cambodia's apparent relative insignificance belied its geopolitical importance. 2020 November 18, Paul Bigland, “New infrastructure and new rolling stock”, in Rail, page 49: Opposite, the Loram site contains a real ragbag of yellow, blue or rust-streaked kit whose appearance belies their importance in keeping the railways running.
( transitive ) To contradict, to show (something) to be false. [from 17th c.]
Synonyms: , contradict , give lie to give the lie to Her obvious nervousness belied what she said.
2001, Arun Kaul, “Kesar: The cultural geography of Kashmir”, in The Human Landscape , page 227:  Early Chinese Buddhist travellers like O'Kong (AD 759-763) mention the use of kesar in Buddhist Viharas for various rituals, and also in making paint for Buddhist scrolls and thankas. This fact belies the earlier myth that would have us believe that kesar was not known prior to Lalitaditya's reign.
( transitive , rare ) To call a liar; to accuse of falsehood. [from 17th c.]
1611, ( The Holy Bible, [ … ] King James Version), London: [ … ] Robert Barker, [ … ] , , OCLC 964384981 Jeremiah 5:12, column 1: They haue belyed the Lord, and ſaid; It is not he, neither ſhall euill come vpon vs, neither ſhal we ſee ſwoꝛd noꝛ famine.
( transitive , rare ) To fill with lies; to lie to.
1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “ The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies ( [ … ] First Folio), London: [ … ] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, , [Act III, scene iv], OCLC 606515358 page 382, column 2: No, ’tis Slander, / Whoſe edge is ſharper then the Sword, whoſe tongue / Out-venomes all the Wormes of Nyle, whoſe breath / Rides on the poſting windes, / and doth belye All corners of the World. 2002 May 1, Bethesda Softworks, , The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind , Microsoft Windows, scene: Ashlander Informant: OCLC 986706305 Three belied you, three betrayed you! One you betrayed was three times true! Lord Voryn Dagoth, Dagoth Ur, steadfast liegeman, faithful friend, bids you come and climb Red Mountain!
( transitive , perhaps nonstandard ) To conceal the contradictory or ironic presence of (something).
His calm demeanor belied his inner sense of guilt.
2013 August 31, Elizabeth Koh, “Fighting Pest, Farmers Find Strange Ally: A Drought”, in New York Times :  The rosy outlook belies a struggle to achieve statewide eradication that has persisted since the insect first crossed the border from Mexico around 1892. 2019, Li Huang; James Lambert, “Another Arrow for the Quiver: A New Methodology for Multilingual Researchers”, in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, , page 8: DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2019.1596115 At NIE the virtually monolingual linguistic landscape basically belies a quite different multilingual reality.
( transitive , perhaps nonstandard ) To show, evince or demonstrate (something) to be present, particularly something deemed contradictory or ironic.
1993, Carol A. Mossman, Politics and Narratives of Birth: Gynocolonization from Rousseau to Zola , Cambridge University Press,  , page 28: →ISBN A host of evidence is adduced by the accused, evidence whose sometimes self-contradictory nature belies a certain desperation 2016 August 3, Jeanne Marie Laskas, “Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns”, in GQ Online :  [… ] a low, flat, boring building that belies its past as an IRS facility [… ] ( obsolete ) To mimic; to counterfeit.
1660, [John] Dryden, : Astraea Redux Which durſt with horſes hoofs that beat the ground / And Martial brass bely the thunders ſound. 1700, [John] Dryden, “ Ceyx and Alcyone”, in , London: Fables Ancient and Modern; [ … ] [ … ] Jacob Tonson, [ … ] , , OCLC 228732415 page 373: The Shape of Man, and imitated beſt; / The Walk, the Words, the Gesture cou'd ſupply, / The Habit mimick, and the Mien bely [… ]
Translations [ edit ]
to give a false representation
to contradict or show to be false
Anagrams [ edit ]