What is denial?

  • (noun): The act of refusing to comply (as with a request).
    Example: "It resulted in a complete denial of his privileges"
    See also — Additional definitions below


Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true. The same word, and also abnegation, is used for a psychological defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may use:

Read more about Denial.

Some articles on denial:

Counterintelligence Failures - Denial and Deception
... Analysis of foreign denial and deception (D D) activities is arguably among the most challenging of intelligence analytic disciplines ... This spectrum includes denial, in which information is used in a “defensive” way by keeping it both secret and hidden (where the information gains further advantage through exclusivity and obscurity ...
... There are two meanings of the term self-denial ... Various religions and cultures take differing views of self-denial, some considering it a positive trait and others considering it a negative one ... According to some Christians, self-denial is considered a superhuman virtue only obtainable through Jesus ...
Laws Against Holocaust Denial
... Holocaust denial, the denial of the systematic genocidal killing of millions of Jews by Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, is illegal in a number of ... Many countries also have broader laws that criminalize genocide denial ... Of the countries that ban Holocaust denial, a number (Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Romania) were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and many of these also ban other elements associated with Nazism, such ...

More definitions of "denial":

  • (noun): A defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges against him.
    Synonyms: defense, defence, demurrer
  • (noun): (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts.
  • (noun): The act of asserting that something alleged is not true.

Famous quotes containing the word denial:

    The line that I am urging as today’s conventional wisdom is not a denial of consciousness. It is often called, with more reason, a repudiation of mind. It is indeed a repudiation of mind as a second substance, over and above body. It can be described less harshly as an identification of mind with some of the faculties, states, and activities of the body. Mental states and events are a special subclass of the states and events of the human or animal body.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)

    The denial of our duty to act in this case is a denial of our right to act; and if we have no right to act, then may we well be termed “the white slaves of the North,” for like our brethren in bonds, we must seal our lips in silence and despair.
    Angelina Grimké (1805–1879)

    Advocating the mere tolerance of difference between women is the grossest reformism. It is a total denial of the creative function of difference in our lives. Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.
    Audre Lorde (1934–1992)