verb (used with object), be·lied, be·ly·ing.
- 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.
verb -lies, -lying or -lied (tr)
- to show to be untrue; contradict
- to misrepresent; disguise the nature ofthe 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”).