denial

A denial is a refusal, and often means a refusal to believe or accept something as the truth. "When asked if he ate the powdered doughnut, he gave a flat denial. Since his face was covered with powdered sugar, the denial was ludicrous."

To be "in denial" is to be fooling yourself about the reality of your situation. If you stay up late watching TV on the eve of your AP Biology final, you are probably in denial about your lack of preparation for the test. Now, "self-denial is a whole other thing; that is when someone puts others first: "During the drought, Mary made sure all her neighbors had enough water and she lived in a state of self-denial — relying on Mountain Dew as her only source of hydration."

Definitions of denial
  1. noun
    renunciation of your own interests in favor of the interests of others
    synonyms: abnegation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-renunciation
    see moresee less
    type of:
    forgoing, forswearing, renunciation
    the act of renouncing; sacrificing or giving up or surrendering (a possession or right or title or privilege etc.)
    self-sacrifice, selflessness
    acting with less concern for yourself than for the success of the joint activity
  2. noun
    the act of asserting that something alleged is not true
    synonyms: disaffirmation
    see moresee less
    types:
    negation
    the speech act of negating
    contradiction
    the speech act of contradicting someone
    cancellation
    the speech act of revoking or annulling or making void
    type of:
    assertion, asseveration, averment
    a declaration that is made emphatically (as if no supporting evidence were necessary)
  3. noun
    the act of refusing to comply (as with a request)
    “it resulted in a complete denial of his privileges”
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 11 types...
    hide 11 types...
    abnegation
    the denial and rejection of a doctrine or belief
    naysaying
    the act of saying no to a request
    negative
    a reply of denial
    refusal
    the act of refusing
    disavowal, disclaimer
    denial of any connection with or knowledge of
    no
    a negative
    nay
    a negative
    double negative
    a grammatically substandard but emphatic negative
    repudiation
    refusal to acknowledge or pay a debt or honor a contract (especially by public authorities)
    abjuration, recantation, retraction
    a disavowal or taking back of a previous assertion
    prohibition
    refusal to approve or assent to
    type of:
    speech act
    the use of language to perform some act
  4. noun
    a defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges against him
    synonyms: defence, defense, demurrer
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    criminal prosecution, prosecution
    the institution and conduct of legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behavior
    types:
    entrapment
    a defense that claims the defendant would not have broken the law if not tricked into doing it by law enforcement officials
    type of:
    due process, due process of law
    (law) the administration of justice according to established rules and principles; based on the principle that a person cannot be deprived of life or liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards
  5. noun
    (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts
    see moresee less
    type of:
    defence, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense, defense mechanism, defense reaction
    (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
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