Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To declare false; deny. See Synonyms at deny.
  • transitive v. To oppose, especially by contradiction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To contradict; to deny, refute; to controvert; to dispute; to forbid.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To contradict; to deny; to controvert; to dispute; to forbid.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To speak against; contradict; oppose in words; deny or declare not to be true; controvert; dispute: applied to persons, or to propositions, declarations, or facts.
  • n. A gainsaying; opposition in words; contradiction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take exception to

Etymologies

Middle English gainsayen : gain-, against (from Old English gegn-) + sayen, to say (from Old English secgan; see say).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English gainsayen, ȝeinseggen ("to say against, say in opposition to"), equivalent to gain- +‎ say. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Indeed, I have offended and done evil; but I crave pardon of Allah Almighty for whatso I did, and if He reunite us, I will never again gainsay thee in aught, no, never! —

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • a proof of my assertion, which I do not think any of them will gainsay, which is, that they all laid down as a principle what they did not perfectly know.

    The Selections from the Principles of Philosophy

  • In theory, at least, inferior material, but who can gainsay the wine's elegance?

    Will this be English wine's best ever year?

  • One hesitates to gainsay those who are putting their money where we journalists are only willing to put our mouths.

    Nothing New Under the Son

  • Say what you will about that view, it's hard to gainsay the economic gains that Singapore, Malaysia and China all made over the last 30-odd years.

    Beijing and the Arab Revolt

  • Admitting the Mubarak regime's contributions to America's interests in the region doesn't gainsay the reality that keeping aging autocracies in power, with no feasible successor in sight, is a status quo that isn't sustainable.

    Egypt's Choice

  • None of this is to gainsay the interests of the world economy in the region.

    Is U.S. Democracy Just Talk?

  • Negotiating these complexities, however, would be a monumental challenge for a 27-year-old CEO who seems most intent on making sure no one can gainsay him.

    Rich, Rich Facebook

  • Far be it for us to gainsay the glories of the Italian kitchen.

    Pappardelle Protectionism

  • None of this is to gainsay the genuine hardships that many of the uninsured face, but we prefer the approach Mr. Obama ran on in the 2008 primaries against Hillary Clinton.

    Texas and Health Care

Comments

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  • Benote gainsay? Eath!

    Luke 21:15 KJV
    For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist .

    Other gain- words:
    gainclap (also gainclapp) - counterstroke, counterblow, riposte
    gaincope - head off, cut off
    gainstand - to stand against
    gainstrive - to strive against

    November 30, 2011