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deny +‎ -al



denial (countable and uncountable, plural denials)

  1. An assertion of untruth.
    The singer has issued a sweeping denial of all the rumors.
  2. (logic) The negation in logic.
    The denial of "There might be X" is the null, "False, there is no X."
  3. A refusal or failure to provide or grant something that is requested or desired.
    The denial of medical treatment to those who cannot afford to pay is scandalous.
    I cannot understand the bank's denial of my loan application.
    Every time we asked for an interview we got a denial.
  4. Refusal to believe that a problem exists.
    We couldn't break through his denial about being alcoholic.
    • 2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, “Our banks are out of control”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21:
      Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic […].  Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. When a series of bank failures made this impossible, there was widespread anger, leading to the public humiliation of symbolic figures.
  5. Refusal to admit responsibility for wrongdoing.
    • 2013, Vahagn Avedian, “Recognition, Responsibility and Reconciliation: The Trinity of the Armenian Genocide”, in Europa Ethnica[1], volume 70, number 3/4, →ISSN, pages 77–86:
      Denial is the first act when the perpetrator refutes the very nature of the planned measures, explaining the steps as justified and legitimate actions to cope with the identified problem. The denial then lives on during the different stages of the genocide and is invoked continuously by the perpetrator whenever its actions are criticized or labeled as atrocities and unlawful. At the end, once the practical stages have had their course, all that remains and thrives is the denial.
  6. Negationism, denialism of historical facts or accepted interpretation.
    • 2015, Fatma Müge Göçek, Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and Collective Violence Against the Armenians, 1789-2009, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 6:
      The sheer length of the list demonstrates the hold denial wields over states and societies, a power that may be best understood empirically by delving further into the two best-documented cases of Holocaust and Armenian [genocide] denial.
    • 2015, Marc Mamigonian, “Academic Denial of the Armenian Genocide in American Scholarship: Denialism as Manufactured Controversy”, in Genocide Studies International, volume 9, number 1, →DOI, pages 61–82:
      However, just as genocide is understood by some—including Raphael Lemkin—as a kind of radical, perverse act of creation, so too, denial does not aim only at a negation of reality but also at the creation of a new reality.
  7. (psychology) 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.
    • 2007 February 11, “No facts, just emotion”, in Washington Times, retrieved 11 June 2013:
      "Denial" came out of the therapyspeak prevalent in the middle of the 20th century, especially as it was applied to confronting the reality of mortality. It was popularized as the first stage of grief, and quickly expanded to include refusal to confront any bad news or disturbing ideas.
  8. A disownment or disavowal
    The denial of Jesus by Peter.

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