Meaning of belie in English:


Pronunciation /bɪˈlʌɪ/

See synonyms for belie

Translate belie into Spanish

verbverb belies, verb belying, verb belied

[with object]
  • 1(of an appearance) fail to give a true impression of (something)

    ‘his lively, alert manner belied his years’
    • ‘Teresa's youthful appearance certainly belies her age and we wish her continued good health…’
    • ‘Its exotic appearance belies the toughness and reliability of its nature.’
    • ‘He may look like a rugged hillwalker, well-built and bearded - but his appearance belies the truth.’
    • ‘It must be said that her appearance belies her age and she dresses extremely sharply.’
    • ‘At first glance, Liu's appearance belies the importance of her new job.’
    • ‘But her casual appearance belies a steely core of ambition and determination.’
    • ‘I was a first year medical student when I first realized that outward appearances occasionally belie the truth.’
    • ‘The brilliance of the sun belied the low temperature.’
    • ‘Amy asked in an excited tone belying her true feelings.’
    • ‘His dapper appearance and smile belied an awkward personality.’
    • ‘His gruff manner always belied a kindness in him that all his close friends knew he had.’
    • ‘His tone of voice and the look in his eyes completely belied his words.’
    • ‘Though his eyes were beginning to dance with a glee that completely belied the tears upon his face.’
    • ‘Its clearly German exterior belies its delicate interior.’
    • ‘His impressive list of credits belies his young age.’
    • ‘Sassy, brash, with a tough exterior that belies her soft heart, Scarlett Adams is the kind of role that comes along once in a lifetime.’
    • ‘Other stunts were also impressive and belied the low budget of the film overall.’
    • ‘His rather unimpressive exterior belied the terrible power he could wield.’
    • ‘It was all very quaint, belying the ultra-modern appearance of the boat's exterior, but it was no less impressive.’
    • ‘Her direct manner belies the cozy atmosphere of her pub, where women chat and snuggle comfortably.’
    contradict, be at odds with, call into question, give the lie to, prove to be false, show to be false
    conceal, cover, disguise, misrepresent, falsify, distort, warp, put a spin on, colour
    View synonyms
  • 2Fail to fulfil or justify (a claim or expectation)

    ‘the quality of the music seems to belie the criticism’
    • ‘These figures belie the constantly repeated claims of mass popular support for the brutal war.’
    • ‘Already, we have encountered many instances that would belie any such claim.’
    • ‘The strong shows of support for him belied claims that the party was falling apart without its leader.’
    • ‘But their political views and their actions belie that claim.’
    • ‘The administration's record on major choices about international law belies that claim.’
    • ‘Berlow's review of the memos themselves, however, belied that claim.’
    • ‘Indeed, social history's capacity to generate new topics belies some of the common criticisms of the field.’
    • ‘Their claim to be non-racial is belied by their actions.’
    • ‘But, this is belied by their own statements, and the truth.’
    • ‘The company is rated top for popularity, belying its comparatively small market share.’
    • ‘In other words, he has been able to persuade them to view him uncritically despite the reality belying what is projected.’
    • ‘I nodded again with an expression belying that statement.’
    • ‘The casualness of these statements belied what I considered to be an exacting exchange system.’
    • ‘In fact, the appearance tends to belie the reality.’


Old English belēogan ‘deceive by lying’, from be-‘about’ + lēogan ‘to lie’. Current senses date from the 17th century.