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."
v declare untrue; contradict
make a disclaimer about
reject as untrue, unfounded, or unjust
refuse to acknowledge; disclaim knowledge of; responsibility for, or association with
v refuse to let have
deny oneself (something); restrain, especially from indulging in some pleasure
allow, countenance, let, permit
consent to, give permission
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keep back, withhold
hold back; refuse to hand over or share
block, freeze, immobilise, immobilize
prohibit the conversion or use of (assets)
keep to oneself
hold back or set aside, especially for future use or contingency
hold as reserve or withdraw from circulation; of capital
keep from having, keeping, or obtaining