- The definition of belie means to contradict or misrepresent.
An example of belie is for a newspaper to provide the wrong facts about a story.
transitive verbbelied, belying
- Archaic to tell lies about
- to give a false idea of; disguise or misrepresent: his smile belies his anger
- to leave unfulfilled; disappoint: war belied hopes for peace
- to show to be untrue; prove false: her cruelty belied her kind words
Origin of belieMiddle English bilien ; from Old English beleogan, to deceive by lying ; from be-, be- + leogan, lie
transitive verbbe·lied, be·ly·ing, be·lies
- To give a false representation to; misrepresent: “He spoke roughly in order to belie his air of gentility” (James Joyce).
- To show to be false; contradict: Their laughter belied their outward grief.
Origin of belieMiddle English bilien, from Old English belēogan, to deceive with lies; see leugh- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present belies, present participle belying, simple past belay, past participle belain)
From Middle English belyen, beliggen, from Old English belicgan, bilicgan (“to lie around, surround, hedge in, encompass”), equivalent to be- (“around, by”) + lie (to be positioned). Cognate with German beliegen.
(third-person singular simple present belies, present participle belying, simple past and past participle belied)
- To tell lies about; to slander. [from 13th c.]
- To give a false representation of, to misrepresent. [from 17th c.]
- To contradict, to show (something) to be false. [from 17th c.]
- Her obvious nervousness belied what she said.
- (perhaps nonstandard) To be shown false by contradicting (something) that is true; to conceal the contradictory or ironic presence of (something).
- His calm demeanor belied his inner sense of guilt.
- (perhaps nonstandard) To show, evince, demonstrate: to show (something) to be present, particularly something deemed contradictory or ironic.
From Middle English belyen, beleoȝen, from Old English belēogan (“to deceive by lying, be mistaken”), from Proto-Germanic *bileuganą (“to belie”), 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”).