A Word A Day : Belie

Word of 1st June 2007: A Word A Day-Belie


( Verb )

Belie (bi LYE) v: to give a false impression of, to contradict

• Melvin's smile belied the grief he was feeling. Despite his happy expression he was terribly sad inside.

• The messy appearance of the banquet table belied the huge effort that had gone into setting it up.

• A word that is sometimes confused with belie is betray. To rework the first example above:

• Melvin was smiling, but a small tear in one eye betrayed the grief he was feeling.

• The fact that the groom kept his fingers crossed during the wedding ceremony betrayed his true feelings about his bride. The loving look he gave his bride belied his true feelings.

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