To deny means refuse to accept, recognize, or believe. You can deny your sweet tooth all you want, but the stash of candy in your desk tells a different story.
It's hard to deny what etymologists have proven: deny is rooted in the Latin word denegare, which means “to deny, reject, refuse.” You can deny yourself of chocolate if you're on a diet, or deny the accusations that you're a chocoholic. But it's usually best to fess up. Abraham Lincoln famously admitted: “I never did like to work, and I don't deny it. I'd rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh — anything but work."