verb (used with object), be·lied, be·ly·ing.

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

verb -lies, -lying or -lied (tr)

  1. to show to be untrue; contradict
  2. to misrepresent; disguise the nature ofthe report belied the real extent of the damage
  3. 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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