American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To give a false representation to; misrepresent: "He spoke roughly in order to belie his air of gentility” ( James Joyce).
- v. To show to be false; contradict: Their laughter belied their outward grief.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To lie around; encompass; especially, to lie around, as an army; beleaguer.
- To tell lies concerning; calumniate by false reports.
- To give the lie to; show to be false; contradict.
- To act unworthily of; fail to equal or come up to; disappoint: as, to belie one's hopes or expectations.
- To give a false representation of; conceal the true character of.
- To fill with lies.
- To counterfeit; mimic; feign resemblance to.
- v. transitive, obsolete To lie around; encompass.
- v. transitive, obsolete To surround; beleaguer.
- v. transitive, perhaps nonstandard To show, evince, demonstrate: to show (something) to be present.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To show to be false; to convict of, or charge with, falsehood.
- v. To give a false representation or account of.
- v. To tell lie about; to calumniate; to slander.
- v. obsolete To mimic; to counterfeit.
- v. obsolete To fill with lies.
- v. represent falsely
- v. be in contradiction with
- From Middle English belyen, beleoȝen, from Old English belēogan ("to deceive by lying, be mistaken"), equivalent to be- (“about”) + lie (to deceive). Cognate with Old Frisian biliaga ("to belie"), Dutch beliegen ("to belie"), German belügen ("to lie to"), Swedish beljuga ("to tell lies about"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English bilien, from Old English belēogan, to deceive with lies; see leugh- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But these terms belie the simplicity of what really happened.”
“Yea, and as for us, beloved pair of pious Emperors, shining forth from the purple, connected with the dearest names of father and son, and not allowing the name to belie the relationship, but striving to set in all other aspects also an example of superhuman love, whose preoccupation is Orthodoxy rather than pride in the imperial diadem,—it is in these things that the deed which is before our eyes instigates us to take pride.”
“Spectacular shots which kind of belie the danger which is involved here.”
“But today, "belie" has lost some of that richness, and just means "expose as a falsehood", as in, say, "The evidence belies the stated reasons for going to war.”
“The word "belie" seems to like shifting its meaning in baffling ways.”
“But a recent string of high-profile attacks that the Taliban have taken credit for belie that rosy assessment.”
“I once worried that it was because I had somehow developed into an emotionally detached person, but my love for my own three children and my partner belie this view.”
“But the facts belie such easy answers, they wrote.”
“While I am quite sure you sincerely believe in everything you are saying, your own words belie your professed respect for public school teachers: We can build an accountability system based on data we trust and a standard that is honest--one that recognizes and rewards great teaching, gives new or struggling teachers the support they need to succeed, and deals fairly, efficiently, and compassionately with teachers who are simply not up to the job.”
“But these examples belie a consistent lack of interest in, understanding of, or even downright hostility toward women's issues.”
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