June 14, 2016
belie (verb)
\bih-LYE\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to give a false idea of2 : to show to be false
How do you use it?
Peeling paint on the outside of the big old house belied the beautiful condition of the interior, which was graced with sweeping staircases and ornate fireplaces.
Are you a word wiz?

"Belie" is a very old word. What do you think it meant when it was first used?

Don't let the other answers belie the truth: answer A is the right one! When "belie" first came into use about 1,000 years ago, it meant "to deceive by lying." Words can change in meaning over time, and "belie" has had plenty of time to do just that. By the 1200s, "belie" was being used to mean "to tell lies about." By the early 1700s, its meaning had changed again, and people were using "belie" to mean "to disguise or conceal." When people use "belie" today, it has yet a different meaning, "to give a false idea of" or "to show to be false."
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