Denial is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true.
The same word, and also abnegation 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.
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.