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misrepresent, reveal, disclose, show



How to pronounce belie (audio)

Dictionary definition of belie

To give a false or contradictory impression, often by concealing or misrepresenting the true nature, character, or circumstances of something.
"His affable nature can sometimes belie his sharp, critical mind."

Detailed meaning of belie

When an action or appearance 'belies' the reality, it implies that there is a disconnect between what is perceived and what is actually the case. This term is used to describe situations where appearances are deceiving or where something contradicts the expectations or assumptions that might be drawn from it. 'Belie' underscores the notion of misleading or obscuring the truth, highlighting the need for careful scrutiny and critical thinking to discern the genuine nature of a situation, person, or thing.

Example sentences of belie

1. The stillness of the lake at dawn does belie the teeming life beneath its surface.
2. His calm demeanor does belie the stress he feels inside.
3. The elegant façade of the building does belie the dilapidated interior.
4. The simple lines of her dress belie its true cost.
5. The modest title does belie the sweeping themes of the book.
6. The bright colors of the poisonous frog belie its dangerous toxins.

History and etymology of belie

The verb 'belie' has an intriguing etymology that traces back to the Old English word 'belēogan,' which means 'to deceive by lying' or 'to tell lies about.' This Old English term is composed of two elements: 'be,' which is an intensifying prefix, and 'lēogan,' which means 'to lie.' Thus, etymologically, 'belie' conveys the idea of intensifying the act of deception through falsehoods. Over time, 'belie' has come to mean giving a false or contradictory impression, often by concealing or misrepresenting the true nature, character, or circumstances of something. It reflects the idea of disguising or distorting reality, making it seem different from what it truly is, as if one were skillfully weaving a web of falsehoods to mislead or misrepresent.

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Further usage examples of belie

1. Her silence does belie the torrent of thoughts swirling in her mind.
2. The simplicity of the puzzle does belie its underlying complexity.
3. The child's innocent appearance does belie a mischievous streak.
4. The rich, indulgent taste of the cake does belie its low calorie count.
5. The empty streets in the photographs belie the normally bustling nature of the city.
6. His nonchalant attitude about money does belie his frugality.
7. The soft-spoken words of the speaker belie his radical ideas.
8. The barren landscape does belie the wealth of minerals lying beneath the surface.
9. His humble home does belie his immense wealth.
10. The seemingly mundane data does belie the revolutionary findings of the research.
11. The lack of expression on the chess player’s face does belie the intense concentration and strategy he is employing.
12. The humble entrance of the restaurant does belie the exquisite cuisine that awaits inside.
13. The quiet exterior of the library does belie the treasure trove of knowledge it contains.
14. His calm demeanor belied the turmoil he felt inside.


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