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belie (verb) to mislead; to give a false impression; to disprove.

His face belies his nature. This means that his face does not indicate his real nature. His face may make us feel that he is good, when he is really bad, or vice versa. The calm surfaces of rivers often belie the dangers underneath. That is, the calm surfaces of rivers give us the impression that they are safe, but there may be, underneath them, dangers like whirlpools, or deadly creatures. 'Her calm appearance belies the agony she feels.' This means, her calm appearance does give us the false impression that everything is all right with her, though she is in a state of agony. Facts belie what he has said. Here belie means disprove. For example, most governments' claims of their achievements are belied by facts and figures. That means facts and figures prove their claims wrong. 'These photographs belie the jail officer's statement of proper treatment of prisoners.' This means that the pictures prove the jail officer's statement about the treatment of prisoners wrong.

  • The innocent face of the serial killer belied the monster and sadist within him. Even the few friends he had could never suspect him.
  • Eddy's rough exterior belied his real nature. Though rugged in appearance, he had a heart which melted like butter at the sight of anyone suffering and which prompted him to go all out to help them.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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