Word of the Day – Belie

Word of the Day : February 9, 2021


verb bih-LYE


1 a : to give a false impression of

b : to present an appearance not in agreement with

2 a : to show (something) to be false or wrong

b : to run counter to : contradict

3 : to obscure the existence or true state or character of : disguise

Did you know?

“What is a lie?” asked Lord Byron in Don Juan. He then answered himself: “‘Tis but the truth in masquerade….” The history of belie illustrates a certain connection between lying and disguising. In Old English, belie meant “to deceive by lying,” and, in time, was used to mean “to tell lies about,” taking on a sense similar to that of the modern word slander. Eventually, its meaning softened, shifting from an act of outright lying to one of mere misrepresentation, and by the early 1700s, the word was being used in the sense “to disguise or conceal.” Nowadays, belie suggests giving an impression at variance with the facts rather than telling an intentional untruth.


Martin’s easy banter and relaxed attitude belied his nervousness.

“But his humble presence belies the adventurous life that brought him through World War II and multiple attempts at sailing around the world.” — Alejandra Garcia, The Sacramento (California) Bee, 21 Dec. 2020