What is Denial?

Legal Definition
Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true. The same word, and also abnegation (German: Verneinung), is used for a psychological defense mechanism postulated by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. An individual that exhibits such behaviour is described as a denialist or true believer. Denial also could mean denying the happening of an event or the reliability of information, which can lead to a feeling of aloofness and to the ignoring of possibly beneficial information.

The subject may use:

  • simple denial: deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
  • minimisation: admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization)
  • projection: admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility by blaming somebody or something else.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
A traverse in the pleading of one party of an allegation of fact set up by the other; a defense. See Flack v. O'Brien, 19 Misc. Rep. 399, 48 N. Y. Supp. 854; Mott v. Baxter, 29 Colo. 418, 68 Pac. 220. General and specific. In code pleading, a general denial is one which puts in issue all the material averments of the complaint or petition. and permits the defendant to prove any and all facis tending to negative those averments or any of them. Mauldin v. Bali, 5 Mont. 96, 1 Pac. 409; Goode v. Eiwood Lodge, 160 Ind. 251, 66 N. El 742. A specific denial is a separate denial applicable to one particular allegation of the complaint. Gas Co., v. San Francisco, 9 Cal. 470; Sands v. Maclay, 2 Mont 38; Seward v. Miller, 6 How. Prae. (N. Y.) 312.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Pleading. To traverse the statement of the opposite party a defence. See Defence; Traverse.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A contradiction; a traverse.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary