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to show to be false; contradict:
His trembling hands belied his calm voice.
to misrepresent:
The newspaper belied the facts.
to act unworthily according to the standards of (a tradition, one’s ancestry, one’s faith, etc.).
Archaic. to lie about; slander.
Contemporary Examples

The broad sweep of The Sleepwalkers seems at first to belie its central thesis.
The Utterly Pointless First World War Michael F. Bishop May 21, 2013

Those questions are what belie the real problem with effort.
‘Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse’ Review: We. We Are Underwhelmed Kevin Fallon May 26, 2014

This obviously contributes to under-reporting and may belie the campus’ safety records.
No Rapes On Campus? No Way. Emily Shire July 4, 2014

Iott says his antics are “purely historical” and belie neither interest nor belief in the tenets of National Socialism.
The Daily Beast 2010 Political Awards Samuel P. Jacobs December 20, 2010

Historical Examples

This incident of his infancy was accepted as an augury of his maturity, and he did not belie it.
The Lives of the Saints, Volume II (of 16): February Sabine Baring-Gould

Archer’s horse did not belie the character he had given of him.
Frank Fairlegh Frank E. Smedley

The means of your deliverance are certain, provided your courage does not belie your appearance.’
The History of Sandford and Merton Thomas Day

She laughed to belie her words, but the note of agitation was not to be concealed.
The Highgrader William MacLeod Raine

As though to belie any idea of safety, a voice suddenly came from Thomson upstairs: ‘Gadsby,’ he shouted, ‘come up!
Chatterbox, 1906 Various

This assertion seems to belie Pitt’s reputation for truthfulness.
William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose

verb (transitive) -lies, -lying, -lied
to show to be untrue; contradict
to misrepresent; disguise the nature of: the report belied the real extent of the damage
to fail to justify; disappoint

Old English beleogan “to deceive by lies,” from be- + lie (v.1) “to lie, tell lies.” Current sense of “to contradict as a lie” is first recorded 1640s. The other verb lie once also had a formation like this, from Old English belicgan, which meant “to encompass, beleaguer,” and in Middle English was a euphemism for “to have sex with” (i.e. “to lie with carnally”).


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